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Monday, May 07, 2012

1 Billion Automation Challenge

Credit: RD/OpiFlex
Sweden is planing to boost its manufacturing industry by providing 1000 productivity studies, which may result in 1 billion Swedish Krona robotics and automation investments!
The new initiative called Automation Challenge is launched by Swedish Robotdalen, a 200 million SEK public and private funded innovation cluster. Since its inception in 2003, Robotdalen completed more than 200 studies on small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in manufacturing industries to explore and facilitate business opportunities to invest in automation and robotics solutions. So far, preliminary studies resulted in investments of over 200 million SEK. Companies with new robotic solutions report productivity increases of 10-30 percent. Until 2015 Robotdalen plans to spread the concept across the country.
The Automation Challenge also includes an increased focus in product development. Together with leading robot developers, system integrators and component suppliers Robotdalen will support manufacturing SMEs to investigate and develop demonstrator projects, pilot installations and experimental product development. Robotdalen has also ambitions to realize more ideas of  new robot applications for even more flexible and efficient production.

Industrial Robotic AGV 
One solution promoted by Robotdalen is Opiflex, a mobile industrial robot platform, developed at Malardalen university college. Opiflex has a patented mechanical dock and a compact docking station, which ensures mechanical stability, power and signal transmission between the robot and station. The mechanical stability is measured with very good repeat accuracy.
OpiFlex can move between machines and workstations as an AGV (Automated Guided Vehicle) and meets all safety requirements for AGV vehicles. Navigation is via magnetic loop and RFID. The platform is based on conventional industrial technology that provides a robust solution.

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