Automation can improve product quality, shorten cycle times, increase productivity, and reduce downtime. Fixed (hard) automation is well suited for a specific production purpose, especially repetitive or high-volume applications. Flexible automation is better suited for high-mix production at low or high volumes.
EWI’s Advanced Automation Process Team develops custom automated solutions for a wide range of manufacturing processes. With expertise in automation and controls, robotics, design and simulation, process monitoring, machine vision, and nondestructive evaluation (NDE), EWI offers an array of critical services to help manufacturers improve competitiveness through applied technology. Whether designing new tooling or developing innovative manufacturing processes, our engineers provide multiple solutions to improve our clients’ operations.
Our technologists develop real-time monitoring systems for all joining and forming processes. Monitoring enables transparency of the welding process for research, ensures weld quality during production, and can be used to direct automation hardware. Available techniques include laser-based inspection for surface topography, high-speed videography for observation of the joining process as it happens, thermal imaging systems for detecting weld features and heat flow, and data acquisition of operating parameters to ensuring weld quality.
An additional resource is our unique Feasibility Pilot Factory Floor. This unparalleled toolbox of simulation software, robots, vision systems, and related automation components allows us to develop, test, demonstrate, and validate an automated process in our laboratories before our clients deploy the process on their factory floor, significantly reducing startup risk.
EWI develops custom one-of-a-kind automated process solutions to meet our clients’ specific manufacturing needs, providing a significant competitive advantage. The Automation Team develops real-time monitoring systems, machine vision systems, applied NDE process tooling and fixturing, and novel joining processes.
Our engineers are fluent in programming languages used in industrial control. Our software expertise includes low-level languages such as C/C++ and PLC programming, as well as higher level automation environments such as National Instruments LabView and LabWindows. We use both commercial and specialized industrial motion controllers including interfacing with robotic system controllers.
Our software programs are used both in the solutions we have deployed to our clients and in our internal research and development programs. We develop control, inspection, and process algorithms ranging from simple pass/fail limits to complex in-process prediction methodologies. We deploy stand-alone or open-ended programs ready for clients to use for their own research and development.
- Flexible and fixed automation solutions for welding and inspection
- Collaborative/human robotic processes
- Pick-and-place, palletizing, bin picking, part feeding, and delivery systems
- Fixture and tooling design for automated systems
- Discrete-event simulation and robotic cell simulation
- 2D and 3D machine vision systems
- EWI-developed force-control sensing
- Automated NDE, real-time process monitoring, and machine tending
- Universal UR10, UR5
- ABB IRB 2600
- Fanuc M-10iA 12S with Alicona IF Sensor R25
- Fanuc LR Mate 200iD 4s
- Fanuc M-1iA/0.5A
- Fanuc F-100iA 106s
- Mikrolar P2100YM
- Adept Python Linear Module
- Denso HM-G
- Gripper Assortment
Our Automated Process Team designs and develops a wide variety of custom solutions, including:
Our high-impact projects have included:
- Flexible Manufacturing Options for Heavy Manufacturing
- Would You Consider a Cobot? A New Manufacturing Tool
- Precision Measurement Capabilities Enhance EWI’s Additive Manufacturing Offerings to Customers