Robotics - rapidly expanding industry

Robots are gaining momentum in both traditional and new industries, with sectors in which robots had so far failed to get an “arm” in the door now investigating automation out of sheer necessity.

Ralf Moseberg, Senior Vice President of Industrial Automation at Schaeffler tells us “Schaeffler is seeing a massive increase in demand for robots and cobots in non-industrial sectors”. This primarily includes companies that have so far had to rely on manual work due to small volumes or complex processes, such as the restaurant business, the retail trade, logistics, and farming.

In addition, cobots are becoming increasingly popular as they interact directly with humans, with safety cages no longer being necessary. As a result, their freedom of motion is higher than that of conventional industrial robots which opens up new fields of application. For example, in settings where medical robots are used, healthcare staff, patients and robots come into very close contact with each other and measuring even the smallest forces, for instance due to touch, is essential. For this purpose, Schaeffler have incorporated torque sensors into strain wave gears that are able to measure such forces with very high precision while maintaining high control accuracy.

In parallel with the advancement of cobots, the improvement of the classic industrial robots continues. Already having a payload of several tons and a range of up to five meters, Ralf Moseberg further explains, “Higher precision, a smaller footprint, higher efficiency and longer maintenance intervals are areas we’re working on too”.

Schaeffler has already unveiled several new developments in the field of automation and looks to occupy a key position in the rapidly growing robotics market through strategic initiatives and close collaborations to continue to offer consumers innovative solutions for the future.

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