Robotics is under development recently, with companies like Boston Dynamics producing advanced commercial robots like spots that can help them perform their day-to-day operations. And, as some of you may not know yet, one of the major sectors that has used robots to increase production and reduce manpower is the automotive industry. In 2020, I saw Ford deploy a Boston Dynamics spot and scan a manufacturing facility. Today, automakers have robots that operate all 3D printers independently. Details are here.
Ford develops “faster” robots to operate 3D printers
Ford has developed a special interface that allows machines from different suppliers to interact and support the production process.
The company has deployed a KUKA wheeled robot called “Javier” in an advanced manufacturing center that can: Operate a 3D printer Manufacture all small custom car components independently. This is the first time a robot can interact with a Carbon 3D printer. You can operate and use a 3D printer to print auto parts without the need for human intervention.
So far, Ford has used Javier’s capabilities to build small quantities of custom car components, such as the Mustang Shelby GT500’s brake line brackets. However, keep in mind that human operators need to upload the print design to a 3D printer in order for the robot to print and maintain.
Once the print design is uploaded, Javier communicates with the 3D printer and performs the necessary actions to print the uploaded design... Robots and printers can run all night, even when human employees leave the manufacturing facility. Once the designs are printed, Javier sets them aside so that Ford employees can collect them later.
Ford said in a statement: “At Ford’s Advanced Manufacturing Center, Javier is tasked with operating the 3D printer entirely on his own.” Ford mentioned in a statement. “He always moves on time, his movements are very accurate and he works most of the day. He only has a short break to charge.”
The company reveals it Javier can also learn from printer data and improve its performance. Take the time to provide more accurate results and reduce error margins.
Previously, machines from different suppliers could not communicate with each other due to the different communication interfaces. However, Ford’s new patent-pending communication system allows machines from different manufacturers to communicate in real time and work together. This has the potential to open up some new possibilities for a company’s production process. What do you think of Ford Javier? Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.