Dallas Manufacturing Sector to See at Cowboys Stadium How Robots Can Mitigate Labor Shortages

More than 20 technology vendors will provide hands-on demos at 'Waves of Innovation' event on Nov. 15.

Business Wire

Aircraft Tooling uses UR cobot to handle plasma and metal powder spray processes, freeing employees from hot and dusty environments.
Olympus Controls plans to show at the Waves of Innovation event how manufacturers can benefit from robotics with workforce optimization and increased productivity.

Despite the Dallas metropolitan area adding more than 10,000 manufacturing jobs over the past 10 months, the region still has more job vacancies than applicants, noted Olympus Controls. In Texas, there are currently 0.8 unemployed people per job opening, a gap that is especially pronounced in manufacturing, it said.

“Historically low labor-participation rates in our area means manufacturers are often unable to staff their shifts,” said Nick Armenta, regional manager of Olympus Controls, in a release.

Tualatin, Ore.-based Olympus Controls is an engineering services company specializing in the integration of motion control, machine vision, and robotics. The company said its customers include 36 of the top Fortune 100 companies.

Olympus Controls to host 'Waves of Innovation'

Olympus Controls today invited manufacturing professionals to AT&T Stadium for “Waves of Innovation.” It said the event will feature live demonstrations of the newest robots and automation presented by veteran problem solvers ready to discuss attendees’ challenges.

The event will be from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. CT on Wednesday, Nov. 15, at the Choctaw Club—Silver Room North in AT&T Stadium at 1 AT&T Way, Arlington, Texas 76011. Registration is free.

Armenta said he looks forward to hosting more than 20 different companies showcasing a wide range of automation. It will include collaborative robots handling sanding and polishing and vision-guided robotic arms using deep learning algorithms to pick up items, as well as applications for automated machine loading, laser marking, and more.

Manufacturers start to benefit from automation

Scott Paulk, an engineering manager with Alexandria Industries in Dallas, said he is excited to attend Waves of Innovation.

“Knowing what’s out there makes our automation journey easier,” he said, adding that his company has already automated has 40% of its work centers.

“We sometimes struggle with hiring skilled labor; automation helps offset this by enabling us to reallocate resources,” said Paulk. “Another benefit of robots is they get the younger generation intrigued. This has no doubt led to employees selecting our companies over a potential competitor.”

Employees at Aircraft Tooling Inc. (ATI), a Dallas-based repair center for the aviation industry also attending the event, said they were surprised to find that a collaborative robot could withstand a harsh environment while performing plasma spray processes. The system has freed them from that task.

While the the cobot eventually “won their hearts,” employees were initially uncertain as to whether the robot would operate reliably in the spray booth’s extremely hot and dusty environment, said Juan Puente, thermal spray supervisor at ATI.

“We were very surprised,” he said. “I thought the robot wouldn’t stand it.”

Robots to take to AT&T Stadium

Armenta said he looks forward to surprising more Texan manufacturers.

“Unlike most of the American economy, manufacturing requires your physical presence,” he observed. “Knowing the local talent and resources close to you will radically enhance your capabilities.”

“By bringing Waves of Innovation to Dallas, we are illuminating both the developing and established talent we already have here in Texas,” added Armenta.

Olympus Controls said exhibitors at the event will include Apex Dynamics, Asyril, Cobot Depot, Copley Controls, Datalogic, Dorner Conveyors, Epson Robots, Flexxbotics, Kane Robotics, Mecademic, National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA), Nidec Corporation, Panasonic, Robotiq, Robotunits, Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center (TMAC), Spira Vision, University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), Zebra Robotics.

Universal Robots and Mitsubishi Electric are platinum sponsors.

Mitsubishi Electric Automation and Realtime Robotics offer a multi-robot work cell including real-time path planning and collision avoidance.

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Business Wire

Aircraft Tooling uses UR cobot to handle plasma and metal powder spray processes, freeing employees from hot and dusty environments.

Robot Technologies