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Automation on the Move at Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show

Jan. 31, 2018
Groundbreaking tech innovations in automation, from robotic tool changers to configurable components, are set to shine at next week’s show in Anaheim.

The Pacific Design & Manufacturing show is one of the major tech conferences for the engineering community. The show, co-located with the Automation Technology Conference, Medical Design & Manufacturing Show, West Pack Show, and the Plastec West Show, connects over 20,000 engineering professionals with industry experts over three days. The conference hosts a variety of technologies, including manufacturing, automation, medical, computer-aided design, motion products, and robotics.

It appeals to engineers because they are able to test drive these new technologies and find suppliers willing to customize these technologies just for them. The booths and educational conferences offer demos, tours, and teardowns for a full experience. Here are some of the must-see features in automation from companies at the show.


Bosch Rexroth is an expert company in automation and motion-control products. One of the products on display at its booth is the ActiveMover, a new linear motor transfer system that offers a combination of speed, precision, and load capacity. Once installed in one’s production line, it has the potential to increase process quality, productivity, and profitability. The system offers a repeatability of ±0.01 mm, and the integrated measuring system allows for precise indexing of pallets, eliminates the need for additional lift, and locates units.

When you need to transport products with great speed and precision, the ActiveMover linear motor transfer system sets new standards of performance: With a unique combination of speed, precision, and load capacity, ActiveMover will increase process quality, productivity, and profitability with every single workpiece. Stop positions can be programmed via the included software at any point around the system, including the curves of the track. Max speed of the system is 150 m/min and has accelerations of up to 4 g. It can stop at any point along the track instantly with no cycle time loss for stopping, positioning, or indexing. The payload per workpiece pallet ranges up to 10 kg.

The ActiveMover will be set up at Bosch Rexroth’s booth 4201.

Axia80 Force/Torque Sensor

ATI Industrial Automation offers a catalog of robotic tool changers and force sensors for automation tooling. The Axia80 is a six-axis force/torque transducer that measures all six components of force and torque from all three Cartesian coordinates. The instrumented transducer also features silicon strain gauges that reduce noise, enable high stiffness, and provide overload protection 5 to 20 times over the sensing range.

The electronics are installed internally in the transducer body, and the sensor connects directly to the robot controller. This keeps the unit’s cost down and footprint smaller, without sacrificing accuracy, resolution, or robustness. The transducer, constructed out of high-strength aircraft aluminum, has a maximum allowable single-axis overload of values 5.0 to 12.5 times of rated capacities. The Axia80 connects via either EtherCAT or Ethernet, and is ideal for robotic assembly, grinding, and polishing applications.

The Axia80 will be at ATI’s booth 4211.

MISUMI Configurable Automation Components

Sometimes, an off-the-shelf part will not suffice. Many engineers require custom-made parts to solve or complete their industrial solutions. MISUMI’s Configurable Components go one step beyond custom parts, enabling designers to select material, surface treatments, dimensions, and alterations without the need for machine drawings. A configurable part will have the reliability, price, and lead time of a stocked component while also being design-flexible like a custom part.

MISUMI does not require minimum quantities or batch charges, and can provide instant pricing and lead time for volumes down to one piece. For example, MISUMI offers configurable linear shafts within 1-mm-length increments. Engineers can use their online CAD Configurator to design the shafts to their exact specifications, and can select from a variety of shaft-end configurations. Within a matter of days, the part is available for shipment.

If you are looking for a configurable automated solution, check out MISUMI at booth 3949.

KHK Metric Gears for Industrial Automation Solutions

KHK USA Inc. is a supplier of metric dimensioned power-transmission components designed for use in industrial automation applications. Within its catalog, KHK offers a variety of metric gears. A metric is traditionally a means of measurement based on meter. However, within the context of gears, it designates a size based on pitch in the unit called module (m). For example, if the module is 2, you then multiply it by pi (π) and the resulting pitch is 6.2832 mm.

KHK offers more than 17,000 configurations of metric spur gears; helical gears; internal ring gears; gear racks; zerol, spiral, and straight tooth miter gears; hypoid, zerol, spiral, and straight tooth bevel gears; screw gears; worms and worm wheels; ratchets and pawls; gear couplings; and right-angle gearboxes. The gears are made from a variety of materials ranging from alloy steel, carbon steel and stainless steel, to acetyl and nylon, to brass, bronze and cast iron. KHK also has 3D model downloads available for all of its gear products.

You can learn more about which gear solution is right for you at KHK’s booth 4389.

OTTO’s Self-Driving Vehicles

The factory floor has not only seen an uptick of robots on the assembly line, but also on driving around the assembly floor. The OTTO self-driving vehicle is designed for material transport in industrial environments. Representing the next evolution of automated guided vehicle, it uses advanced sensors and artificial intelligence to provide flexible automation. The robot does not require fixed infrastructure, such as beacons, magnetic tape, or pre-defined laser paths, to navigate the factory floor. The OTTO 1500 carries 1500 kg payloads, and the OTTO 100 carries 100 kg payloads. OTTO vehicles avoid hitting oncoming obstacles, and move through facilities in the most efficient manner possible to its final destination. By using opportunity charging, docking autonomously, and charging itself during periods of downtime, the system runs virtually 24/7.

Check out the OTTO vehicles at booth 3965.

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