August 2010 PM News


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Acquisition of Mobile Robot Provider

Adept Technology Inc. has entered into an agreement to acquire privately held MobileRobots Inc., a provider of autonomous robot and automated guided vehicle (AGV) technologies. Equipping Adept’s global sales channels with autonomous robots and associated technologies will enable the company to address the needs of the production logistics markets.

The acquisition of MobileRobots expands Adept’s automation presence in markets including industrial, commercial, medical, research and academia and will contribute to continued innovation in the automation of logistical processes. The MobileRobots team brings expertise in autonomous platform design and advanced fleet management along with applications experience and an established industry network.

Metal Merger

Tri Star Metals Inc. LLC, along with its parent company, Hagener-Feinstahl, completed its merger with Pinnacle Metals Inc., a privately held wire and bar, stainless steel and nickel alloys production company. Pinnacle Metals will operate as Tri Star–Pinnacle Metals through the end of the year, when it will assume the Tri Star Metals name.

The merger expands Tri Star Metals’ North American footprint via the addition of a 130,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Freeport, Ill., and establishes the company as a fully integrated wire mill with multiple shipping locations and two production facilities. The company will immediately increase manufacturing capacity at the new facility by repurposing 35,000 square feet (27 percent) to add equipment that supports new growth markets, such as annealing and drawing capacity for stainless and nickel alloy rod, bar and wire.

New Head of Robotics Business

ABB announced the appointment of Michael Mahfet as vice president and general manager of its robotics business in North America. He will focus on the strategic development and continued profitable growth of the business in the region. He will serve as a management team member for both ABB’s global robotics management team and its Discrete Automation & Motion division management team in North America.

National Sales Manager Appointed

Methods Machine Tools Inc. has selected Bob Russo for the position of national sales manager for its new tooling and accessories group. Mr. Russo brings more than 35 years of experience in the tooling and accessories business. Prior to joining Methods, he spent 25 years as the Northeast sales manager for Command Tooling Systems.

Global Titanium R&D Center

Makino’s Mason, Ohio, facility has been designated the company’s Global Titanium Research and Development Center, where a specialized group of engineers will further the development of titanium milling technologies. The facility will include state-of-the-art machine tools, specialized titanium machining and tooling experts, CMM equipment, and all the necessary tools and talent to further titanium machining technologies. Makino is releasing several new technologies in titanium machining in 2010. 

The mission of the R&D center is to provide manufacturers with the best in titanium application expertise by combining Makino’s titanium machining capabilities with the world’s leading process technologies. This is an ideal opportunity to work with vendors, suppliers, and partners to develop improved metal removal rates and longer tool life in titanium milling, according to Tom Clark, V.P. of Makino.

Gibbs Grants More Than $750,000 in Software

Gibbs and Associates has granted Purdue University’s College of Technology 65 seats of its GibbsCAM software to run on five networks at the university’s Indiana campuses in West Lafayette, Kokomo, New Albany, Columbus and South Bend. GibbsCAM software now supports CAM courses in Purdue’s College of Technology, where more than 5,500 students are pursuing technical degrees. Among the various undergraduate and graduate degree programs offered by the College of Technology, including a Ph.D program, are Bachelor of Science degree programs in mechanical engineering technology and manufacturing engineering technology, within which students will use GibbsCAM throughout their studies. The grant, excluding training services, is valued at $758,475. 

Engelberger Robotics Awards 

The robotic industry’s highest honor, the Engelberger Robotics Award, was presented to Heinz-Dieter Schunk, Schunk GmbH, and Scott W. Deming, Corning Inc., during the 41st International Symposium on Robotics held in conjunction with AUTOMATICA in Munich, Germany.

The awards are named after the “father of robotics,” Joseph F. Engelberger. Each recipient was presented a commemorative medallion and a $5,000 honorarium by Robotic Industries Association (RIA). Launched in 1977, the award has now been presented to 111 people from 16 nations.
“We are delighted to add Mr. Schunk and Mr. Deming to the list of industry leaders who have been honored with an Engelberger Award,” says Jeff Burnstein, president of RIA. “Both men have spent more than 25 years in robotics and have accomplished a tremendous amount for our industry. Mr. Schunk’s innovations in gripper technology and Mr. Deming’s successful applications at Corning have not only impacted their companies but also have served as an inspiration to other individuals and companies making and using robotics technology.” 

De-Sta-Co Appoints President

Brian Nadel has been appointed president of De-Sta-Co, a Dover Company. He replaces Pat Carroll, who will lead the Environmental Solutions Group, a newly formed organization within Dover, bringing together Heil, Marathon and Bayne Thinline companies.

Mr. Nadel most recently served as president of Marathon Equipment Co., another member of the Dover family. Prior to Marathon, he served as general manager for the Paladin Heavy Construction business.

Before joining Dover, Mr. Nadel was the general manager of Parker Hannifin’s Hydraulic Gear Pump Division and also spent several years with TRW Automotive.