Although robotics play an increasing important role in manual assembly, they have not yet arrived on to surface mount technology (SMT) line in any meaningful way. Perhaps the SMT line is as automated as it can be or perhaps collaborative robots (cobots) are more suited to roles in materials management.
In recent years, more robotic companies have entered the electronics manufacturing services (EMS) and SMT space with various solution. Meanwhile, the largest equipment manufacturers already established in the sector, like ASM, Yamaha, Panasonic, Fuji and Juki are bringing their own solution or partnering with cobotics experts like ABB or Kuka.
To get to the bottom of these trends, including the challenges faced bringing robotics to SMT, we decided to get a breadth of perspectives: from a customer, and automation vendor and one of the biggest vendors in the industry. What we go was: a contract manufacturer, Mathieu Kury, regional director of Business Development in the Americas for Asteelflash; a robotics and automation expert, Stan Earley, vice president, Engineering & Operations at Simplimatic; and Mark Ogden, marketing banager at ASM Assembly Systems.
In this debate, the panel explore the topic of robots, cobots, automation, and future of man and machine in manufacturing.
Filmed on location in San Diego at the SCOOP studio with sponsorship of Aegis Software, Cogiscan, Creative Electron, Fuji America, KIC and Koh Young Technology.