FANUC to use Digital Manufacturing Week to bring automation solutions to life

Posted on 19 Oct 2020 by Tom Lane

The Manufacturer caught up with FANUC UK's Andrew Armstrong to discuss what exciting innovations they will be showcasing at Digital Manufacturing Week.

Digital Manufacturing Week (DMW) takes place between 9 – 13 November 2020 and FANUC the automation and robotics specialists are looking forward to exhibiting, at the world’s biggest virtual manufacturing showcase Smart Factory Expo.

Andrew Armstrong, UK Sales & Marketing Manager at FANUC mused: “The beauty of the platform like DMW is that people can dip in and out of the exhibition, they can, make the contacts, have a look around. They are not restricted by having a day out of the office, they are in control of their own timescales and can talk to people. I think it will give us some benefits in terms of getting different contexts. And it is up to us to convince them that we have the right products for them going forward.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has had an effect on how every company reaches its customers, with many physical exhibitions in the UK and around the world falling foul of the virus. Digital Manufacturing Week presents an opportunity to bring the manufacturing community together.

What can we expect to see from Fanuc at DMW?

Armstrong explained: “We might be known for robotics, but are we are also known for the CNC control systems that everybody uses day in day out. New product-wise we have the CRX collaborative robot, which is now officially launched this year, we have it in the UK ready to sell. This is our out of the box collaborative, easy to program robot. Within the space of a couple of hours, you can have a robot out of the box and have it programmed in there working, with a simple tablet, drag and drop process for programming.”

Fanuc - Eyejusters LR Mate M20iA

IoT technology is becoming even more important in these times of Covid-19 and having the ability to increase productivity and implement social distancing in a factory setting is imperative to keep production moving. Using technology effectively to implement change within an organisation has never been more vital.

Armstrong said: “We have the roboguide software package, this is a full simulation package of all our products robot-wise, where you can teach the robot offline. You can come up with programs, check reaches payloads, speeds and get accurate feedback of that information and start to use it as an education tool to do offline programming.”

Andrew Armstrong, UK Sales & Marketing Manager at FANUC
Andrew Armstrong, UK Sales & Marketing Manager at FANUC

“You can upload the program you produced into the real-life robot, it’s like a light switch. It’s not quite a digital twin, but it is a digital platform that is evolving to give you that ability to do everything offline, rather than in the physical world. We are using this regularly as a tool to build up systems and do presentations to customers to show them what the automation can look like. We can do a lot of design concepting work, we sell the product to customers, so they can also use it for their own internal uses. Ultimately, you can get clarity and continuity of what an automation system will look like. And then it will give you feedback on the speeds and outputs, that you are actually going to achieve, it’s a real powerful tool.”

It is not just from an exhibiting at The Smart Factory Expo perspective that FANUC are looking forward to DMW, the opportunity to get more of their own employees engaged with the event is an exciting prospect.

Armstrong said: “It gives us that ability to release people to have a look at what a specific exhibition is all about and to get connections with people that we may have some interest with. Or we might need some support on certain projects, we want to look at DMW, from both a visitor’s and exhibitors’ perspective.”

He concluded “I think the other aspect is that (attending DMW virtually) gives us the ability to safeguard our employees, health and wellbeing as well, which is very important.”

Make sure you and your team do not miss out on the many exciting opportunities to accelerate your team’s understanding of digital manufacturing. Registration for Digital Manufacturing Week is now open, so start planning your visit today