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Positive outlook for automation

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Interview with Carsten Stumpf at Automatica 2018

Carsten Stumpf, General Manager Kawasaki Robotics EMEA, made time for a short talk with our editorial team at Automatica in Munich. His assessment of Germany as a hub for technology is optimistic.

The challenges still to be tackled on the way to the Smart Factory, such as questions of standardization, data consistency and security issues for the Internet of Things, are a recurrent topic. Now let us look at it the other way round: where have we made significant progress? And what are the advantages of Germany as a location for manufacturing?

Germany certainly has an advantage in terms of innovations for implementing new technology or ideas. A comprehensive rethinking is most likely to be realized or expected here. Germany is one of the countries with the highest wage costs and at the same time an enormous innovator. We should be able to advance modern technology quickly and efficiently here. The know-how is certainly available and the specialization in matters of excellence is very well located here. These factors make it possible to stand out as a technology location.

What is the best or most interesting news you have read on this subject in recent months?

New reports keep coming up and it's not easy to filter out all the important content. However, I think that the approaches in AI technology will become enormously relevant in the near future. They will influence flexibility in production and other areas and steer it in completely new directions.

What innovations is Kawasaki Robotics presenting at Automatica 2018?

We are presenting new, solid standard robotics, such as the BX200X, a handling and interlinking robot with a reach of over 3,400 mm and a new small robot with a payload of 7kg at a reach of almost one meter and an enormous speed.

At the same time, we are expanding into the concept of smart production. With the F60, we brought along a new small controller that is not only the lightest and smallest robot controller, but that can also be expanded with a large number of interfaces by simply plugging in modules. This controller can transfer vital data from the robot to a smartphone using Bluetooth and a web interface.

The Prototype Successor enables direct interaction between man and machine in the teaching and learning sector. Our trend manager shows what Predictive Maintenance can look like. The robot responds automatically if an irregularity is detected and notifies the operator of any wear and tear in time. So a multitude of innovations around automation!

How does our FASTSUITE Edition 2 digital factory software fit into the package you offer your customers?

FASTSUITE Edition 2 is an ideal complement and stringently pursues the idea of maximum flexibility in automation processes. On the one hand we are able to teach products almost intuitively and on the other hand we save enormous time when planning, setting up and programming systems. The finished robot movement program is produced almost incidentally. A combination that is useful for every integrator and for end customers when working with fast-paced and ever-changing processes.

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