SAN FRANCISCO—Bright Machines recently introduced software capabilities for intelligent automated assembly lines that are said to equip manufacturers with new tools to weather supply chain disruptions and get products to market faster. The new features are another step toward the company’s goal to bring intelligent automation to factories through its Bright Machines Microfactory, the company said in a release.
Manufacturers can now deploy and operate automated assembly lines with fewer people, ensuring business continuity through disruptions or unexpected problems. New remote monitoring and servicing capabilities are reported to reduce the need for on-site visits and result in faster recovery from issues that arise during production. As a result of calibration and remote monitoring capabilities, the manufacturer’s uptime and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) are significantly improved, the company said.
New features include user-enable warnings and customized alerts that inform users when unexpected errors cause the microfactory to go out of reasonable operating bounds. They also include advanced and customizable diagnostics. The microfactory is instrumented to collect data for machine and process parameters with a standard, extensible semantic data model that enables user-driven graphical analysis. This makes the diagnostics useful for the novice user and the experienced data scientist, the company said.
The new features are also said to make troubleshooting and recovery easier. Bright Machines technicians can be granted permission for remote servicing to assist users with troubleshooting and fast resolution of issues, instead of waiting days or weeks for an on-site visit. Continuous and real-time data collection gives the microfactory the intelligence to recover from previously experienced failure modes, the company said.
As consumer needs have fundamentally changed through Covid-19, so too has demand for many products. As a result, manufacturers need a more efficient way to right-size capacity to meet changing demand. The new microfactory updates allow manufacturers to deploy lines and pivot products faster, according to Bright Machines.
New features include a simple-to-use interface that allows assembly lines to be quickly configured without requiring any programming. Team members can collaborate remotely to develop recipes off-line. This enables iterative developments that result in faster initial deployments, as well as quicker line changeovers and line repurposing. As a result of this flexibility, teams can easily react and respond to changes in demand, according to the release.
To achieve shorter product assembly times and operational goals, recipes support complex logical flows including conditions, nesting, loop iteration, parallel and asynchronous execution, branching, and jumping. They also include using predefined lists, defining breakpoints, triggering events, and error handling. Advanced recipes result in faster line commissioning to support changing demand, the company said.
In addition to built-in support for all microfactory components, a new device wizard is said to allow Bright Machines to easily add third-party devices to enable broader assembly and inspection capabilities. Manufacturers can easily deploy automation and manage line changeovers and line repurposing with minimized downtime, according to Bright Machines.
“Today’s manufacturers require creative solutions to keep production moving through any disruption — whether it’s a pandemic, natural disaster, or international trade tensions,” said Bright Machines CEO Amar Hanspal, in the release. “The ability to remotely manage, pivot, and scale automated assembly lines gives our customers a powerful tool to ensure their operations are more resilient.”
The updates, available immediately, are said to aid teams in setting up, configuring, and operating a Bright Machines Microfactory. Multiple functionalities are available for device setup, recipe creation, error recovery, data collection, event logging, and diagnostics, according to the company.
Bright Machines (www.brightmachines.com) is headquartered in San Francisco and has offices in Seattle and Tel-Aviv. The company aims to help companies manufacture more products at a higher quality and lower cost. By intelligently automating product assembly and inspection, Bright Machines’ software and robotic cells are said to help solve the capacity needs and labor challenges of modern factories.