PBC Linear, a Pacific Bearing Company and a global leader in linear motion solutions, continues to elevate its Factory of the Future Program with its newest venture, Applied Cobotics. Its mission aims to provide automation solutions by integrating collaborative robots (cobots), material lift systems, 3D printing, and other automation technologies into manufacturing systems.
Recent events have helped bring to light the unmet demand for skilled workers within the manufacturing industry. This labor shortage is coinciding with a rise in customer demand, creating a need for higher output with more competitive costs. In addition, shop floors are having to evolve on a dime, becoming more agile to fulfill custom orders and mitigate product fluctuations.
The Factory of the Future Program has been developed in response to those needs. A significant focus of that program is Applied Cobotics, which looks to implement new and more efficient technologies to accommodate these new demands. This is being accomplished through relevant industry partnerships and home-made innovation that has been a hallmark of PBC Linear for decades.
Applied Cobotics strives to:
- Implement cobots to perform tasks side-by-side with the human workforce
- Provide gripper options that offer greater flexibility in automation
- Create innovative systems such as the Automated Material Lift System for lights-out manufacturing
- Employ 3D printing to create jigs, prototypes, custom grippers, and trays for parts set-up and queuing
- Upscale its workforce through training programs that use augmented reality and custom software
- Inspire a younger generation of engineers and tradesmen to pursue careers in manufacturing
- Create partnerships for a holistic approach to factory automation. Current partnerships include Hans Robots, Schunk Grippers, Taqtile (augmented reality software), and 3D Platform.
Applied Cobotics is currently offering three cobots – the Elfin 3, Elfin 5 and Elfin 10 – as part of its Automated Material Lift System.