By Brian Huse, Director, Marketing & PR, Robotic Industries Association
As usual, ATI Industrial Automation brought together a good crowd of robot makers, integrators and users at its summer open house in Orion Township, Michigan. Guests hailed from far and wide, with interests ranging from oil drilling in Alberta, Canada to press handling in the Great Lakes states and beyond.
With expertise in tool changers, collision sensors, deburring tools and force/torque sensors, ATI is well known in a wide variety of applications and industries. Their Michigan office, near the Palace of Auburn Hills, makes it convenient for industry giants and key players in the robotics industry to gather and exchange ideas and see old friends.
An open house like this is a good way to get insight into trends. There was a general feeling that an economic rebound is on the horizon, and if pent up demand is about to break out then ATI has many ways to help customers make up for lost time.
Is wireless technology ready for primetime in the manufacturing sector? ATI experts looked at this issue and the more traditional network backbones found in Ethernet and Profibus. How refined is robotic deburring and material removal? Thanks to ATI force/torque sensors and products like Flexdeburr and Speedeburr there are many success stories in this area.
Classic products like tool changers and collision sensors were on display as were several new devices. Some will have seen the new giant tool changer used for heavy payloads during the International Robots, Vision & Motion Control Show. Their tool changers are even used by medical robots and their new force/torque sensors work under water.
Some of ATI’s visitors have a long journey back home and others were practically within walking distance, but all were treated to a good networking event and a chance to see new technology that can make them more competitive. We were honored to see a large plaque declaring RIA membership since 1995, and salute everyone that made time in their schedule to go to their open house.