ABB launches Omnicore; Lincoln acquires Inrotech; Chemours names CFO’s roundup of recent advanced manufacturing news.

Lincoln Electric acquires Inrotech

Lincoln Electric has acquired Inrotech A/S, an Odense, Denmark-based automation system integrator specializing in automated welding systems. Inrotech has developed adaptive intelligence software and computer vision that guides and optimizes the welding process without the need for programming or the use of CAD files. Lincoln says it’s targeting this vision-based technology at the shipbuilding, energy, and heavy industrial sectors where welding accessibility can be challenging for traditional automated systems. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. 

ABB launches next-gen robotics control platform

ABB Robotics has launched it’s new OmniCore automation platform which the company says is the result of more than $170 million of investment in next generation robotics. It’s a modular control architecture that will enable the full integration of AI, sensor, cloud and edge computing systems to create advanced and autonomous robotic applications. OmniCore’s motion performance delivers robot path accuracy of less than 0.6mm, with multiple robots running at up to 1,600mm per second. This opens new automation opportunities in precision areas such as arc welding, mobile phone display assembly, gluing and laser cutting. Overall, OmniCore enables robots to operate up to 25 percent faster and to consume up to 20 percent less energy compared to the previous ABB controller. Omnicore replaces ABB Robotics IRC5 controller which will be phased out in June 2026.

Mitsubishi Electric increases Realtime Robotics stake

Realtime Robotics, a Boston-based developer of autonomous motion planning for industrial robots, has secured a strategic investment from Mitsubishi Electric Corp. This is the lead investment in Realtime Robotics’ recently opened Series B round. Mitsubishi Electric was also a participant in the Series A round and will be adding a senior representative to Realtime’s Board of Directors. The funds will be used to support the refinement and scalability of the company’s robot workcell optimization and runtime solutions. The company’s collision-free path planning technology provides solutions across the lifecycle of robotic workcells. In iterative design stages, the multirobot optimization software rapidly generates and evaluates hundreds of thousands of possible solutions to identify the shortest cycle time. By increasing its stake, Mitsubishi Electric plans to further integrate Realtime’s motion planning technology into 3D simulators and other software to optimize manufacturing through the power of digital twins. Later, Mitsubishi Electric expects to incorporate Realtime’s technology into factory automation (FA) control system devices, such as programmable logic controllers (PLCs), servo motors and computer numerical controllers (CNC).

K-tec scrapers getting greener

Heavy equipment manufacturer K-Tec is partnering with sustainable steel maker SSAB and will take pilot deliveries of SSAB’s Fossil-free steel, which has virtually zero carbon dioxide emissions from the steelmaking process. The steel initially will be used in K-Tec’s earth movers and scrapers used in the construction and mining industries. K-Tec says this initiative is its next step in reducing emissions and improving sustainability. The company already uses SSAB’s Hardox wear steel and Strenx performance steel. The pilot deliveries of SSAB Fossil-free steel are made using HYBRIT-technology, which was jointly developed by SSAB, iron ore producer LKAB and energy company Vattenfall. It replaces the coking coal traditionally used for iron ore-based steelmaking with fossil-free electricity and green hydrogen. The by-product is water instead of carbon dioxide emissions.

Chemours names new CFO

The Chemours Company a global chemistry company headquartered in Wilmington, Del., has appointed Shane Hostetter as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) effective July 1, 2024. Hostetter will lead finance, investor relations, corporate development, strategy, and enterprise risk management. He joins Chemours after 13 years at the Quaker Chemical Corp. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and has an MBA in Finance from Villanova University. With Hostetter’s appointment, Matt Abbott, Interim CFO since February 2024, will resume his prior role of SVP and Chief Enterprise Transformation Officer, where he is responsible for growth, productivity, and operational performance across the organization.

Universal Robots, MiR open new HQ

Danish cobot maker Universal Robots and MiR, a Danish manufacturer of AMRs (autonomous mobile robots) have opened a new 215,000 square-foot joint headquarters in Odense, Denmark. The two companies make up Teradyne Robotics after they were acquired by Teradyne in 2015. The opening included a panel discussion featuring Deepu Talla, vice president of Robotics and Edge Computing of NVIDIA, Rainer Brehm, CEO of Siemens Factory Automation, and Ujjwal Kumar, Group President of Teradyne Robotics. The panelists discussed the use of physical AI across industries, underscoring the transformative power of advanced automation for businesses and workplaces.

Vention opts for Nvidia AI

Vention, a Montreal-based-based Manufacturing Automation Platform (MAP) developer, has announced a collaboration with Nvidia to use Nvidia AI and accelerated computing to advance cloud robotics. Vention said in a release it has spent the past year focused on collaborative efforts to leverage artificial intelligence to simplify the realization of industrial automation and robotic projects. Vention intends to leverage this unique asset to simplify the user experience on the cloud and on the edge. The collaboration with NVIDIA focused on using AI to create near-accurate digital twins significantly faster and more efficiently so manufacturers can test their projects before they invest. Areas of development include generative designs for robot cells, co-pilot programming, physics-based simulation, and autonomous robots. The company says products resulting from this collaboration are expected to be announced in the third quarter of 2024.

Parker posts 20 percent uptick in cash flow for Q3

Parker Hannifin Corp., a Mayfield Heights, Ohio-based manufacturer of motion and control technologies, posted Q3 adjusted net income was $850.7 million, an increase of 10% compared with $771.9 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2023, while year-over-year sales were essentially flat. Earnings per share were $5.56 compared with $4.54 in the prior year’s third quarter. Fiscal 2024 year-to-date cash flow from operations increased 20% to a record $2.1 billion, or 14.6% of sales, compared with $1.8 billion, or 12.8% of sales, in the prior year. Its Diversified Industrial Segment North American third quarter sales decreased 5% to $2.2 billion and operating income was $490.5 million compared with $489.3 million in the same period a year ago. Its Aerospace Systems Segment saw Q3 sales increase 18% to $1.4 billion and operating income was $289.3 million compared with $133.9 million in the same period a year ago. Orders were flat for the company as a whole but decreased 4% in the Diversified Industrial North America businesses and 8% in the Diversified Industrial International businesses. Orders increased 15% in the Aerospace Systems Segment on a rolling 12-month average basis.