This month, a leading engineering integrator of robotic and machine vision systems and a fastening technology company announced they had joined forces to introduce robotic capabilities uniquely engineered for a fastener installation press.
According to a statement issued on behalf of the two companies, the partnership 'provides an unprecedented marketplace opportunity for completely hands-off installation of self-clinching fasteners using the newly developed robotic system.'
The statement goes on to say, that 'the robotic system developed for the fastening technology company is equipped to pick up, move, and position a work piece for alignment with holes where fasteners will be installed automatically by the press. After fastener installation, the robot removes the finished work piece and advances to the next job.'
The system -- apparently -- is offered in two standard packages to accommodate various work piece sizes. The turnkey system integrates a conveyor with locator, output conveyor, gripper, robot, and a basic sequence program to interface with the press. Among available robot options, a robot slide can be supplied to expand work cells for multiple presses.
The robotic system sounds like a step in the right direction for both companies. However, there's only one slight hitch. When Vision Systems Design contacted the leading engineering integrator of robotic and machine vision systems to discover whether or not the system had incorporated any interesting vision systems, we were informed that the system had not been built yet.
Clearly then, this is yet another of those common instances where overeager companies and their public relations firms have forgotten how to use the future tense, leaving their customers somewhat disappointed that they cannot obtain a system that they may believe has already been completed.