AUTOMATICA to highlight robotics, machine vision

APRIL 30, 2008--AUTOMATICA, the international trade fair for automation with a focus on assembly and handling technology, robotics, machine vision, and associated technologies, will take place in Munich, Germany, June 10--13, 2008.

APRIL 30, 2008--AUTOMATICA, the international trade fair for automation with a focus on assembly and handling technology, robotics, machine vision, and associated technologies, will take place in Munich, Germany, from June 10 to 13, 2008 ( Its mission is to showcase the latest in robotics and automation for worldwide manufacturers and to establish a forum where vendors and manufacturers from Europe and North America can exchange ideas and knowledge. The event will focus on the latest trends as well as innovative solutions for streamlining in the production process.

AUTOMATICA is organized and managed by Munich International Trade Fairs (Munich, Germany); the conceptual sponsor is VDMA Robotik and Automation (Frankfurt, Germany), which is the German machine tool builders association. For the 2008 show the organizer expects about 900 exhibitors from 40 countries--33% of them first-time exhibitors. There will be 344,400 square feet of exhibit space.

"AUTOMATICA has established itself as a brand in the trade fair landscape," says Joachim Rohwedder, chairman of Rohwedder (Bermatingen, Germany), "and this year has made tremendous progress toward its goal of becoming one of the leading international trade fairs for the industry."

Attendees can expect to learn about several major new trends in assembly equipment. These include the desktop factory, which will be displayed by Bosch Rexroth and Rohwedder, and tabletop automation, which will be displayed by Stäubli. Such units are highly versatile production platforms with individual compact segments that can be fitted with a range of different production equipment and put together in a series.

This approach makes it possible to create specifically equipped and efficient production and assembly lines that easily accommodate the ever-shorter product life-cycles faced by many manufacturers. Most of the elements in such a line can then be used later for other production operations. Examples include the TELEOMAT telescopic manipulator from Strödter Handhabungstecknik (Hamm, Germany; top image) and the Airlift AM80 from EFS Gesellschaft für Hebe- und Handhabungstecknik (Nordheim, Germany; bottom image; Photos © Munich International Trade Fairs).

In robotics, an agile multi-arm technology with a sophisticated vision system is one of the most sought-after technologies. But older concepts, such as delta kinematics, are being revived and competing with current standards. Kinematics is already very fast, but with four instead of three arms the robots turn into very high speed operatives. Manufacturers of articulated robots are responding to this development by producing robots that have two drives per axis and can also move at very high speed.

While the applications for automation in manufacturing continue to grow, manufacturers of robots and automation continue to be accused of destroying jobs. But in fact, the opposite is frequently the case, as can be shown by the experiences of many German manufacturing plants. Companies with sophisticated automated systems and perfectly coordinated processes are not only expanding their production on the world market, they are even bringing back production facilities that were located abroad. Such companies include top automotive suppliers, as well as construction-machinery manufacturers.

Concurrent events
The third Robotik Congress will be held concurrently at the Munich International Conference Center, June 11-12, 2008. More than 250 robotics experts from industry and research are expected to attend. Robotik 2008 will focus on industrial robots used in production, robot applications outside production, cognitive robots, and components, processes, and systems. The aim of the congress is to identify new applications for automated production and for service robots in this fast-developing environment.

The International Trade Fair for Solar Technology, Intersolar 2008, will take place at the Munich Trade Fair Center, June 12-14, 2008. AUTOMATICA will offer its attendees and exhibitors the opportunity to visit Intersolar 2008 for free.

The combination of these two trade fairs is expected to be particularly helpful for production professionals. Behind the use of environmentally friendly solar energy are state-of-the-art manufacturing and assembly plants--just one of the many growth sectors for which AUTOMATICA represents the very best in automation technology.

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