Hahn Group Acquires Cobot Technology of Rethink Robotics
Rethink Robotics has shut down, but its technology has been added to Hahn Plastics Automation.
Hahn Group, a German-based collection of robotics and automation companies, has added collaborative robots (“cobots”) to its stable. In October, Hahn purchased all patents and trademarks of Rethink Robotics of Cambridge, Mass., along with its Intera 5 software platform for robot programming. Rethink was a pioneer in the cobot field with its Baxter and Sawyer models (Sawyer is pictured here). But the company shut down on Oct. 3 owing to financial difficulties. Hahn already owned a stake in Rethink and had been selling its cobots in Germany. Newly organized Hahn Plastics Automation also includes Waldorf Technik and GeKu of Germany, as well as Wemo of Sweden. Currently based in Hebron, Ky., the U.S. branch of the robotics division plans a move to New England (see September NPE report on robots for more details).
So-called ‘collaborative robots’ are a new category of ‘human-friendly’ automation that can work safely side by side with people, unprotected by guarding.
An injection molding robot is no better than its end-of-arm tooling (EOAT). All the potential benefits of robots--increased productivity, quality, and safety, as well as reduced scrap--are influenced by the effectiveness with which the EOAT does its job. End-of-arm tooling may perform tasks as simple as sprue picking and demolding or as advanced as degating, insert loading, parts reorientation, and assembly.
Hot buttons at the show will be multi-component molding, in-mold labeling/decorating (IML/IMD), in-mold assembly, medical molding, liquid silicone rubber (LSR), micro-molding, and high-speed packaging.