An interview with Robert Kaifler, Product Manager at Zwick GmbH, about how the roboTest N is bringing the smart robot into the world of materials testing.
What is the new ‘roboTest N’ and what is the novelty?
The ‘roboTest N’ is a smart feeding unit for fully automatic, yet flexible materials testing of small series ̶ bringing the world of smart robots and materials testing together for the first time.
Smart robots with force-controlled axes started to be developed over the last few years, to work in collaboration with humans. These robots have the capacity to not only take on manual labor but also cognitive tasks.
According to Gartner, the prominent technology research firm, software, robots and other smart machines will take over one in three jobs currently performed by humans by the year 2025.
How is it different from robots currently used in materials testing?
Until now, continuously changing series with small numbers of specimens could not be processed efficiently with a robotic testing system. The set-up of both the hardware and the software was too elaborate. Starting today, with ZwickRoell’s ‘roboTest N’, the first collaborating robot system for materials testing, even small test series can be processed with full automation.
Fully-automated functional tests on injection-pens
What are the benefits of the ‘roboTest N’?
a) Due to full integration of the lightweight robot into the ZwickRoell software environment, robot programming knowledge is not required for operation.
b) The intuitive user interface for ‘roboTest N’ in autoEdition3 also ensures flexible use for future testing applications.
c) With force-controlled drive axes, the ‘roboTest N’ requires a smaller installation location than conventional industrial robots, while maintaining the same level of safety.
To what extent does ‘roboTest N’ include features of Industry 4.0?
ZwickRoell consistently implements Industry 4.0 basic principles in the software. For example, the Industry 4.0 basic principle interoperability is implemented in the autoEdition3 software feature Remote Monitor. The benefit is that the user can view the system status on the web browser in real time.
Also, parallel processing; where up to four specimens are processed in parallel, both physically and in the autoEdition3 software in terms of data technology. The benefit is higher specimen throughput when compared to conventional robotic testing systems.
How well is the ‘roboTest N’ integrated with the ZwickRoell environment?
The lightweight robot is completely integrated with the ZwickRoell autoEdition3 automation software, and can be fully implemented without the need for a robot operator panel. Special knowledge of robot programming or operations is not required. The testing machine itself is controlled with the testXpert testing software, which has been proven a thousand times over.
How can I get more information on the ‘roboTest N’, or see it live?
a) On our website www.zwickroell.com
b) Come see us at our exhibition testXpo in Ulm, Germany, October 2019
c) Come see us at the K Show in Düsseldorf, Germany, October 16-23, 2019
About Robert Kaifler
Product Manager at Zwick GmbHRobert Kaifler is the product and project manager of automation at Zwick GmbH. Robert studied business administration and has worked at Zwick since 1992.
The key industries that he specializes in are metals, plastics, and medical. Since 2017, Robert has been a project team member, collaborating on robots for materials testing.
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