APRIL 17--A Japanese supplier of industrial robots has standardized on Cognex (Natick, MA, USA; www.cognex.com) In-Sight vision sensors for its three-axis and SCARA robots. The manufacturer will produce certain robot models with the In-Sight sensor integrated directly into the robot, and other models will be provided with specially designed firmware to optimize direct connection between In-Sight and the robot's controller. This partnership is expected to generate more than $300,000 in annual revenue for Cognex.
Vision-guided robots offer manufacturers increased flexibility and significant cost savings by eliminating the need for part fixturing, making it possible for a variety of different items to be manufactured on the same assembly line. This "mass customization" enables manufacturers to customize products very efficiently, without the need for a dedicated line for each version of the product.
"Industries such as automobile manufacturing have long used vision-guided robots, but recent breakthroughs in cost, ease of use, and reliability by Cognex have led to wider acceptance by other industries," said Robert J. Shillman, Cognex chairman and CEO. "In-Sight is designed to provide the best possible performance for robotic applications at the lowest possible price. In addition to its ruggedness, In-Sight comes with the option to use PatMax software, which can locate and identify parts with extremely high accuracy, despite variations in orientation, size, and appearance. "