The robotics subsidiary of Engie Solutions – formerly Engie Ineo – specializing in the integration of automation in industry, launched its national center of expertise in robotics on July 6 in Montargis (Loiret). This “Robotics Lab” is intended to be an incubator of innovations in order to support French industrialists in the integration of the automatisms of the factory of the future.
” The concept of industry 4.0 is deployed in France. Industrialists want to be able to reorganize their production more easily and demand versatility and flexibility “, Explains Jean-Dominique Rousseau, director of the Robotic Lab” Robotics is one of the key equipment to meet these new needs “
Demonstrators dedicated to factory 4.0
The installation of 800 m2 – 500 m2 dedicated to R&D and 300 m2 of “showroom” to present demonstrators – required an investment of 1.6 million euros. Its exhibition area has been designed to highlight the strengths of new generation robots.
It accommodates traditional six-axis or scara robots, as well as cobotic arms, deployed for palletizing, assembly or packing or unpacking purposes. In the second semester, the lab will acquire several mobile robots with automatic guidance for specific applications, notably by associating them with robotic arms.
” Robots must now be able to be quickly reconfigured and work in the same workspace as humans “Says Jean-Dominique Rousseau,” All the applications that we present are entirely modular. Robots can be moved and reprogrammed easily and quickly from one workstation to another“
Programming and ergonomics
The programming and ergonomics components are the main areas of innovation on which the Engie Solutions R&D team will focus. ” As an automation integrator, these are areas in which we have developed real know-how. The objective is to allow the manufacturer, whether a large group or an SME, to have total control over its production tool. Explains Jean-Dominique Rousseau.
R&D brings together 25 engineers dedicated to the development of new interfaces, but also to the configuration of vision systems and safety aspects related to robots. In addition, the Robotics Lab is in contact with other engineers from Engie Solutions specializing in the field of remote control or cybersecurity, ” key points from factory 4.0 “, According to Jean-Dominique Rousseau.
Future associations with engineering schools and start-ups
From September the Montargis site plans to partner with engineering schools and start-ups on very specific subjects, to co-design solutions. The Engie Solutions entity plans in particular to get in touch with AI specialists to support manufacturers who wish to integrate these technologies.
The inauguration of this Lab marks the opening of a week of Robotics, organized by Engie Solutions. Several webinars will be held from July 7 to 9 presenting use cases and will address the theme of “robotics for people.”