"The Hyve," Simens' new autonomous modular robotics platform, is set to transform manufacturing as we know it. With the Hyve system expected to deploy to multiple cosmetics facilities by the end of 2020, Siemens describes the innovation as standing "head-and-shoulders above the competition" by helping to speed up chemical balance testing in shampoo.
While the UK lags behind other European countries in industrial robotics adoption, Applied Scientific Technologies, a manufacturer based in Middlesborough, sees a huge potential for collaborative robotics in the cosmetics industry. "The speed of design, development and deployment into this market could not have been possible without the industry standard connectivity and automation tools provided by Siemens," said Garry Lofthouse, direct of Applied Scientific Technologies, who recently deployed a Hyve prototype into the cosmetics sector.
A sister company to Applied Integration UK, AST was founded to create new applications for robotics technology. “Siemens tools and interfaces lie at the heart of our platform and give the foundation upon which we can build customer processes and applications seamlessly and quickly into the Hyve platform," Lofthouse added.
“The Hyve is an autonomous, collaborative robotic platform conceptualised to serve the consumer and life science industries and we have found huge scope for it already in the cosmetics market," said Lofthouse. With its compact footprint, Hyve allows for the automation and integration of multiple manufacturing and laboratory processes. A cobot mounted in the center console creates access to the entire bench area, as well as the 3-D space above the bench. Free space within each segment and under the platform allow for the installation of additional needed infrastructure and equipment while maximizing space in the work area.
Able to be used as a stand alone system or operate in a beehive like structure, Hyve's development offers an unprecedented level of flexibility, configurability and modularity. Designed as a collaborative platform, the system can be configured to assist humans in a variety of roles, from palletizing and packaging to laboratory processes. “By introducing the Hyve to the laboratory testing arena it has helped in stability studies and extracting analytics that were otherwise impossible or took 10 times longer," said Lofthouse.
While the system is currently being deployed in the cosmetics sector, AST is also working on “further deployments and totally new applications” for Hyve, with an eye toward deployment in more tightly regulated industries such as pharmaceutical manufacturing.