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How to Select Industrial Robots

water-roboticsThe challenge in choosing a robot for your operation is often not in knowing whether or not you need a robot, but choosing which applications are well suited for a robot to provide the best return.

According to the International Federation of Robotics, robot sales have increased more than 45 percent in the last five years. More and more companies, across all industries, are looking to robotic solutions to increase manufacturing capacity, reduce costs, and improve worker safety. Today’s industrial robots are smarter, faster, adaptable, and collaborative. With advanced vision and sensing capabilities, robots can perform complex tasks that were not even possible a few years ago. All of these new technologies make this an exciting time to be considering an investment in an industrial robot.

As you evaluate which process in your manufacturing environment you want to target for a robotic application, be specific about the problem you want to solve and consider all of the cost reductions a robot can provide: minimizing waste, creating efficiencies, increasing production volume, improving safety or reducing labor costs. These cost reductions can serve as the basis for your return on investment criteria and will often be important factors in determining if a robot is right for your designated application. Continue Reading →

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Reflection Can Reveal Best Practices

SamJerry
This is an exciting time to be in the automation business, as there are tremendous opportunities to integrate technologies and revolutionize the production of goods. Reflecting on your processes can help make the most of them.

As the year comes to a close, it’s not uncommon to reflect over the past year. We recently had an opportunity to do just that, but in a very thorough way, by completing an application for a national award. The process was both inspirational and educational. I found myself reflecting on how we do business and realized that we are using many best practices that I want to share with you.

Hire the best and brightest.
We have an exceptionally smart team that thrives on learning new technologies and jumps at the chance to do work other companies either can’t or won’t do. We encourage employees to provide suggestions and feedback, especially if it would enhance or encourage continuous improvement. We challenge our engineers to stay on top of emerging technologies and to work with different industries.
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System Integrators of the Year: The future is today for 2016 winners

ConceptSystems-12-3-1511356Albany, Ore.-based Concept Systems has built a reputation as a problem-solver for its customers in the aerospace, pulp and paper, building products, food and beverage, and metals industries as well as help integration customers get the most out of their project.

The Pacific Northwest is home to airplanes and the raw materials for paper airplanes. It’s also a home for outstanding system integration. Albany, Ore.-based Concept Systems has built a reputation as a problem-solver for its customers in aerospace, pulp and paper, building products, food and beverage, and metals. Michael Gurney, president of Concept Systems, discusses his team’s success and how to help integration customers get the most out of their project in a conversation with CFE Media.

CFE Media What is the one thing plant management can do to help ensure a successful integration process?

Gurney: The most important aspect of the integration process is managing the risks; identifying and mitigating each. The types and scale of risk vary from project to project and change dynamically during the course of a project. This requires that you have a team that has the skill set and processes in place to handle them.

Partnering with a (Control System Integrators Association (CSIA) Certified Integrator is a good place to start, as having processes for risk identification and mitigation is a key qualifier. Getting your integration partner engaged early in the process is the one thing that can be done to ensure success.

We understand automation projects and the inherent risks. As such, we know the right questions to ask to avoid project pitfalls. Most project risks can be identified early in the process if the right questions are asked and all the information is on the table. Like any risk in life, the earlier the risk is identified, the better it can be mitigated. With the proper planning, automation integration should be the norm. Continue Reading →

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Concept Systems receives 2016 System Integrator of Year award

SIYlogo_2016Concept Systems received the 2016 System Integrator of the Year from CFE Media for its accomplishments in developing and installing complex manufacturing automation solutions for companies across a wide range of industries. The award was announced today and was presented at the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute in Chicago last month.

“We view the 2016 System Integrator of the Year award as a testament to our 80 employees who use state-of-the-art automation technologies to solve manufacturing problems,” said Michael Gurney, Concept Systems’ CEO.

Given annually by CFE Media, the award recognizes business skills, technical competence, and customer satisfaction. Winners are inducted into the System Integrator Hall of Fame. This is the second time Concept has won the award; the first was in 2007. Only two other companies were honored with the award this year.

“Concept Systems’ submission is the best I have seen in all the years of judging this competition,” said Don Roberts, principal at Exotec, LLC. “I am certain it is a good reflection of how they serve their customers.” Continue Reading →

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Concept Systems named Rockwell Automation Machinery Safety Solution Partner

Microsoft Word - Unofficial Safety Logo[1].docxAlbany, Ore. (Nov. 30, 2015) – Concept Systems, a Rockwell Automation Solution Partner company specializing in manufacturing automation, vision and robotic solutions, and machinery safety, announced that it has demonstrated the requisite expertise and experience to become a Rockwell Automation Machinery Safety Solution Partner. This designation is reserved for an elite group of systems integrators that pass a thorough assessment of their safety application expertise, experience and capabilities, and show a long-term commitment to maintaining excellence in machinery safety applications. All Solution Partners, as part of the Rockwell Automation PartnerNetwork program, have committed to an active, extensive relationship with Rockwell Automation to provide the most productive and cost-effective automation solutions for their customers.

“We are very happy to add Concept Systems as a Machinery Safety Solution Partner,” said Mark Eitzman, manager of safety market development at Rockwell Automation. “The company’s technical expertise and experience has shown that they are capable of delivering systems that improve both safety and productivity, making them a good fit in our program.” Continue Reading →

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Transforming Mid-Sized Manufacturing Companies

How four automation technologies, with lower price points today, can dramatically change your manufacturing game.

From a birds-eye view of the industry, automation seems so pervasive. Yet even today, a surprisingly high number of companies still haven’t made the investment to streamline their production lines with modern automation technologies. This is especially true of mid-sized companies who have been waiting for hardware prices to decline. Many of these companies are now seeing their competitors implement automation solutions and gaining a significant advantage in the marketplace.

If this scenario sounds like your company, here are four applications to seriously consider that can springboard you to the front of the pack in 2016.

Vision Systems. Advanced laser scanning and other vision technologies, such as thermal imaging, near IR, and millimeter wave cameras, offer clear advantages because of their ability to see the environment beyond what the capabilities of the human eye and make real time decisions. Coupling this technology with robotics provides the ultimate in manufacturing flexibility, reliability, and efficiency and represents the current vanguard in manufacturing automation. Continue Reading →

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