David Pilliod, president of Advanced Control Solutions, said Baxter is a robot designed to do human-like tasks in the manufacturing environment.
“He is a collaborative robot, so he is safe to work around other human beings,” Pilliod said. “If you bump him, he will stop.”
The $22,000 robot is capable of picking and placing items along an assembly line system.
“At that price tag, what we’re looking at is typically less than a year’s pay back on the manufacturers’ initial investment,” Pilliod said. “To figure an annual cost, the hourly cost for this employee (Baxter), he runs about $4 an hour.”
Click here for a video of Baxter in action on The Forum's Facebook page.
The members also discussed improving quality along the entire supply chain.
Chuck McMaken, a Detroit-based automotive program manager for ABS Quality Evaluations, briefed the industry executives from Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama on the status of new standards.
McMaken said that Ford, Chrysler and GM have been significantly involved in the advancement of the Technical Specification certification program, along with most of the European manufacturers.
Most of the Asian companies that have located plants across the Southeast — Hyundai, Kia, Honda and Toyota — have not pushed the TS standards but do recognize the certification program, he said.
“Chrysler has been very aggressive in the third-party certification process,” McMaken said. He said the automaker has been forcing the understanding of TS, not only through its suppliers, but its own organization.
McMaken said getting the latest certification allows companies to get on original equipment manufacturers customer bid lists.