Sun. Oct 1st, 2023
    Bringing Robotics to Small Manufacturing

    Kinova, a Montreal-based company, is making strides in the field of collaborative automation for various applications, including industrial manufacturing. With a team of 240 employees and a presence in nearly 40 countries, Kinova aims to provide robots that empower humans to achieve extraordinary tasks every day.

    While there are many competitors in the industrial space promoting their robots as “safe” and “flexible to deploy,” Kinova believes that every application is unique and requires specific safety and flexibility criteria for success. While collaborative robots offer lower cost, smaller size, and easier programming, there are other variables to consider, such as mounting arrangement, interfacing with other production equipment, system networking, gripper arrangement, and safety risk assessments. Kinova encourages clients to be creative and bold in their automation process, but also advises them to seek professional help from system integrators or Kinova’s dedicated Applications Team to ensure the success of their projects.

    Kinova’s Link 6 robot incorporates speed-and-force limitation technology, allowing it to function safely alongside humans. It offers an intuitive tile-based programming interface and a hand-guiding option for point programming, as well as off-the-shelf plug-ins for different gripper types, simplifying the redeployment process.

    One of the obstacles slowing the adoption of robotics in North American manufacturing, especially for smaller companies, is the lack of understanding and resources. These companies often struggle with labor shortages and lack the technical expertise to navigate the automation investment process. Kinova aims to reach out to these smaller companies and provide education and support tailored to their specific needs.

    For small manufacturing companies interested in performing their own robot installations, Kinova advises them to evaluate the possibility of integrating robotics into their business to stay competitive. They should also consider automation and robotics as a continuous journey rather than a one-time project. Implementing a successful robot project requires careful planning and evaluation, and Kinova’s teams and partners can help guide companies towards success.

    The Link 6 robot from Kinova is designed for ease of use and does not require advanced programming skills. It can be programmed through a graphical user interface or a manual point and teach mode, making it deployable by individuals with various levels of robotic knowledge. Kinova also offers advanced programming options for experienced code writers.

    When it comes to choosing between a collaborative robot and a traditional industrial robot, it depends on the specific application. Collaborative robots have the advantage of human interaction without the need for extensive safety measures, while traditional industrial robots may have other capabilities that make them better suited for certain tasks.

    Overall, Kinova is making significant contributions to bringing robotics to small manufacturing companies, prioritizing ease of use, safety, and flexible deployment. Through education, support, and user-friendly technology, Kinova aims to drive wider adoption of robotics across various sectors.

    – “Bringing Robotics to Small Manufacturing” by Kinova.