Digital Textile Printing News

Industry 4.0 Robotics Come to Itma with Staubli and ACG Kinna

Image Courtesy of Staubli

Image Courtesy of Staubli

With the horizon of Industry 4.0 very much in view, ITMA in Barcelona showed the visitor the direction of travel in Robotics and AI, as the scope of new products available showed an enormous increase over ITMA 2015.

Leading the way was the new HelMo mobile robot system which was  seen autonomously driving and navigating as it moved bobbins between work stations and machines.

Jointly developed by Stäubli and Ontec, it is equipped with three laser scanners which permanently monitored its surroundings and ensure precise navigation and safety when working alongside human operators.

Equally,  ACG Kinna Automatic provided demonstrations of its new robotic pillow filling system which has the ability to fill and finish some 3,840 pillows per eight-hour shift.

This is a considerable improvement on what is currently possible with either manual or semi-automatic systems, resulting in significant savings in both labour and energy for busy home textile businesses.

The technology is based on two robotic arms from Japan’s Fanuc – the world’s biggest robotics brand – which have been specially modified by ACG Kinna with advanced gripping tools and seaming and labelling devices. The pillows are automatically sealed with either single or double lockstitch seams and labels can be attached without interrupting the flow of the system.

“There has been much talk about the potential of Industry 4.0 enabled by advanced software and now I believe we are at the forefront of pioneering it,” said ACG Kinna CEO Christian Moore. “The use of robotics is now standard across many industries dealing in solid goods, but the handling of soft materials such as textiles is a little more complex.”