03 June 2016

AME invests in collaborative robot technology

Graduate engineers at the Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME) will be among the first in the UK to be trained on the latest robotic technology.

The UK’s first ‘Faculty on the Factory Floor’ – a joint collaboration between Unipart Manufacturing and Coventry University – has invested more than £50,000 into purchasing ABB’s YuMi, a small parts assembly robot that can work collaboratively in the same environment as people.

Each of the 60 students will receive over 25 hours training on it, as well as participating in real life R&D projects, including teaching the robot to complete lightweight assembly work for electronics and automotive components.

Andy Hind, AME advanced manufacturing engineering manager, said: “YuMi is a vision of the future and has the potential to change the way we think about assembly automation… it’s fantastic that we are one of the first organisations in the UK to implement it in our course and in the wider Unipart Manufacturing operation.

“It is one of the most advanced collaborative robots on the market, offering, dual arm, flexible hands, camera-based part location and state-of-the-art robot control.”

Carl Perrin, director of AME, added: “There has been a lot of talk about robots taking people’s jobs, but we don’t believe this. They will be an important element of manufacturing going forward, delivering new solutions and improving productivity.

“The UK has to be investing in robots like YuMi and ensuring the next generation of engineers is being given the chance to learn on them and then apply that knowledge to real applications.

“We’re already doing this with a fully integrated ABB robot cell, but our investment in the collaborative robot marks the next step forward for us.”

Ian Vallely

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