Automation centre helps food & drink manufacturers to automate
Following a major redesign to incorporate a brand-new demonstration area, Omron’s Automation Centre in Barcelona is helping to ease the transition to automation for food and drink manufacturers.
The facility enables visitors from across the EMEA region to collaborate and develop general and application-specific industrial automation, including robotics, vision, quality control, flexible manufacturing and AI.
De-risking project investment
Harnessing Omron’s 88 years of applied knowledge and experience, the newly updated and expanded Automation Center allows food and beverage customers to experience before making an investment all the benefits of a connected, intelligent factory, including reduced waste, increased throughput and greater production flexibility.
By collaborating at the earliest stage of a project between Omron’s specialist engineers, its supply chain partners and the customer, the Automation Center generates a pool of intelligence which can be harnessed to turn preliminary ideas into robust yet simplified automation approaches. Besides unlocking innovation, this proof-of-concept initiative enables any potential issues to be identified and addressed during the design phase before they become real-world problems.
“We aim to inspire manufacturers, system integrators and machine builders to adapt their businesses to meet the changing needs of customers and society,” said General Manager Antoni Farràs. “Our goal is to help them realise the possibilities of innovative manufacturing and address current challenges; for example, by creating new solutions to respond to and recover from the global pandemic.”
Left: The Omron Team welcome visitors to see the factory of the future at the Automation Center in Barcelona. Right: Antoni Farràs, General Manager at the OMRON Automation Center, Barcelona
As well as facilitating the factories of the future, the Omron Automation Centre also has a key part to play in inspiring the next generation of jobs in food and drink manufacturing. According to one report, 85% of the roles that will exist in 2030 have not yet been invented! By showing the art of the possible and giving organisations the confidence to embrace the latest technological innovations, the Centre will ultimately generate new and exciting roles for the workforce of tomorrow, taking employees away from the production line towards more value-added and creative tasks.
Able to be conducted on site or virtually, demonstrations include:
- 360° control for flexible production – how all-in-one control comprising robotics, motion, safety, machine vision and AI boosts manufacturing flexibility, enabling scalable and modular autonomous and collaborative production.
- AI sensory inspection – using intelligent AI algorithms to automate tasks previously only possible by humans, thanks to sensing and control technology that flexibly responds to state changes of parts.
- Efficient bin picking – combining 3D vision and collaborative integrated robotics to realize bin picking applications.
- Safe, automated machine care – using collaborative robots to safely automate the supply and removal of parts, without fencing or remodelling of machine tools.
- Human-machine collaboration on a cell production line – robots and humans working together in harmony to enable autonomous process improvement and defect-free production.
- Vibration suppression technology – improving and accelerating high-speed liquid product handling with technology that suppresses multiple resonance frequencies
- High-speed and high-precision alignment with visual feedback – ensuring optimal operation without machine adjustments despite belt and chain stretching, chuck misalignment and workpiece deformation.