Thursday, August 22, 2019

How is Deep Learning Different from Machine Vision?

From OCR to defect detection, deep learning thrives when inspection isn’t clear cut.

Content courtesy of Cognex.

Deep learning technology might seem cutting edge, but it’s a perfect complement to machine vision inspection applications now. In this quick video overview and downloadable eBookCognex explains the differences between the two inspection approaches and when it makes sense to use deep learning or traditional machine vision for your factory automation strategy.

Further, you’ll learn:
  • How deep learning differs from machine vision
  • How deep learning systems learn via neural networks
  • Which types of applications are best suited to deep learning methods
  • How deep learning benefits industrial manufacturing

PDF  Download the eBook

Monday, August 19, 2019

New Date Added! Authorized UR Core Training at FPE Automation


Authorized Universal Robots UR CORE training course at FPE Automation

Tuesday-Wednesday, September 17-18

2-day technical training program. Learn to program, test and repair a Universal Robot collaborative robot (cobot).


Friday, August 16, 2019

FPE Automation Wins Award for #1 PHD Top Performer August 2019 - Congratulations to Steve Moore!

Congratulations to FPE Automation's Steve Moore! 

Steve took the top spot on PHD Inc's Top Performers list in August for an application at a metal stamping plant. Steve worked with the company's production team to present clamps and slides that would handle the 24/7 rugged progressive die stamping environment. Delivery was paramount. Although both the clamp and slide shipping times were in the acceptable range for their build timeline, Steve worked with their applications engineering team to reconfigure the clamps to have switches so they could ship even sooner. 

Clamps and slides alone don't make an impact. They don't win awards on their own. 

Solutions do. 

Effective implementation of these products can make your plant run better. They can make you more productive, more reliable and they can make your products better. Trust FPE Automation and the experts at PHD Inc. to assist you in implementing effective solutions for your business.

Also a winner in August - FPE Automation's Joe Judge appeared on the Top Performers list for his PHD Unique Solutions application in the packaging industry. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Chat is back on!

Live chat is available again on FPE Automation's website.

Real-time, live chat is back on the FPE Automation website!

After a brief break, we've redesigned the chat feature on our site and made it available to you once again. 

What hasn't changed? 

At FPE Automation, we're committed to quality service. What you don't get is a novice. 

We've staffed our chat room with experts who have product knowledge to assist you. You'll see the name of the person assisting you. They will know the answers, or know how to get them for you. 

Who will you be chatting with? 

Experienced members of our tech team. If you've worked with us for a while, you might already know their names. Here are a few examples:

Customer Service Manager
Over 30 years industry experience.
Branch ManagerOver 25 years industry experience.
Value-Added Services Manager
Over 20 years industry experience.

Real time chat with FPE Automation. Visit the website to give it a try!

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Universal Robots Training at FPE Automation

Get to Know Your UR

Wednesday, August 14 at FPE Automation in Elk Grove Village.

Have you recently purchased a Universal Robots collaborative robot, or have you decided to do so in the near future? We've got a "Get to Know Your UR" class for you!

This is a regularly scheduled class that FPE Automation offers in various locations. The next one takes place this upcoming Wednesday, August 14.

It's an opportunity to spend hands-on time interacting with the #cobot and learning all about its features. For our valued FPE/UR customers, there is no cost to attend.

If this describes you, don't miss this opportunity to get the most out of your collaborative robot!

Thursday, August 1, 2019

FPE/IMEC Breakfast with the Bots Event in Manufacturing News

FPE Automation and IMEC's Upcoming Breakfast with the Bots at the Danville Area Community College is featured in Midwest Manufacturing News

Midwest Manufacturing News ran an article about FPE Automation/IMEC's Breakfast with the Bots. The event, taking place on August 21, is designed to help manufacturers who are faced with workforce shortages. Robotics can be used to address those challenges. Collaborative robots are designed to work with, and among, employees without the need for costly safety infrastructure. The Breakfast with the Bots workshop will include demonstrations of cobots, and give attendees the opportunity to learn about the many ways cobots can benefit them.

Learn more about Breakfast with the Bots at Danville Area Community Collage on August 21


#universalrobots #collaborativerobots #cobots

Monday, July 29, 2019

FPE Automation Tech Expo: Next Level Manufacturing

Announcing the FPE Automation Tech Expo: Next Level Manufacturing

It's our biggest event of the year!

The very latest in automation and manufacturing on display, plus food and beverages, valuable prizes, fun activities and more.

October 15, 2019 from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at the DoubleTree by Hilton-Chicago in Arlington Heights, Illinois



Tuesday, July 23, 2019

MiR Mobile Industrial Robots Van to Visit IRIS Custom Solutions

FPE Automation is bringing the MiR (Mobile Industrial Robots) van to our integrator partner IRIS Custom Solutions

Autonomous mobile robots from MiR allow companies to automate low-value internal transportation tasks, freeing up employees to spend their time much more effectively. The MiR van is coming to IRIS! Don’t miss this opportunity to see the mobile industrial robots in action!


Location: IRIS Custom Solutions | 10210 Werch Dr #205, Woodridge, IL 60517

Construction Underway for FPE Automation Training and Technology Center

Located in Elk Grove just steps away from FPE Automation's corporate headquarters, construction is well underway for the new training and technology center!

When completed, the facility will include over 6 collaborativer obotics training stations, and a state-of-the-art vision lab along with fully functioning automation modules to help assist and train our existing and new customers.

More to come soon! Stay tuned...

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Piab's Kenos KCS Robot Gripper EOAT - Now UR+ Certified

Piab Kenos KCS gripper - now UR+ Certified


"UR+ is the premier product platform to help you automate your applications more easily than ever before. Hundreds of industry-leading products are tested and approved to work with cobots from Universal Robots to provide you with fast deployment, simple programming and reliable operation. From grippers and accessories to vision systems and software – UR+ has a solution for you."

- Universal Robots

Piab's Kenos® KCS gripper enables a collaborative robot (cobot) to handle just about anything, anywhere, at any time. This makes it the ideal ”co-working” tool, especially for small businesses, where flexibility is essential. Originally developed together with a leading manufacturer of collaborative robots as a tailor-made automation tool for one customer, the resulting vacuum gripper cobot proved so successful that Piab decided to offer it more widely.


Related: FPE Automation blog article - The Piab Kenos KCS Gripper

Monday, July 8, 2019

New Survey from Mobile Industrial Robots Can Help!

Find out how your procedures and internal logistics measure up to those of your peers. 

Looking to give your business a competitive edge? We’d like to let you know about an interesting industry-wide survey our partner, Mobile Industrial Robots (better known as MiR) is carrying out. The questionnaire is anonymous and takes just 5 minutes to complete. When you submit your answers, you’ll get:

- A report detailing the ways companies across the US are tackling internal logistics

- The chance to win a fully configured autonomous mobile robot for four months

- Entered into a prize drawing for three $500 gift cards

Sound interesting? Find out how an autonomous mobile robot from MiR can help. Tell us about your challenges, and together, we can figure out a better way. 


Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Just Announced: FPE Automation Among Top MAC Valves Specialists

Congratulations to FPE Automation's Scott Massie and Steve Carrera! 

Mac Valves Inc. and MDN leadership has hand picked just 40 people from around the continent to be part of an elite team of specialists. These individuals have a unique expertise in Mac's latest, revolutionary products. That includes Pulse Valves, Bullet Valves®, Liquid Valves, MI/O-67® and BViQ®. While Mac Valves is already the industry leader due to their optimized shifting forces, repeatability, balanced design, wiping action, and all of the other innovations comprising Mac's 105+ patents – the aforementioned families of cutting edge products are at the forefront of it all. Scott and Steve made the shortlist of experts! Need information about this game-changing technology? Please reach out to FPE Automation - we're here to help! 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Limited Time Promotion: Cognex 3D and Laser Profile Vision Systems

Extremely Competitive Pricing on Cognex Products for 3D Applications and Laser Profile Applications

Available now at FPE Automation!

Cognex just announced what is probably the best ever promotional pricing for select InSight products for 2D and 3D machine vision inspection.

Whether you're just getting into the vision game, or you're a seasoned professional, you'll want to take advantage of these great deals! 


MiR Offers New Leasing Program for Mobile Industrial Robots

Mobile Industrial Robots, the market leader in autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), launched its new mobile robot leasing program

Referred to as ”robots as a service” (RaaS), leasing lets companies of any size—from small start-ups to multinational enterprises—deploy mobile robot solutions with low (or no) upfront costs and low monthly payments. This lowers financial barriers for investing in AMRs and gives customers a near immediate return on investment (ROI).


Friday, June 14, 2019

Industrial Dust Collection Case Study

FPE Automation received the MAC Distributor of the Month award for the implementation of MAC Pulse Valves in a dust collection system.

"Keeping your environment safe is crucial. So is keeping things running smoothly.

Downtime is costly. 

Up to now, dust collectors have been very expensive to operate. At the same time, you just can’t risk the occupational hazards that come with a system that isn’t effective."

FPE Automation won a coveted Mac Valves Distributor of the Month award for their work in industrial dust collection at a customer in the Midwest. This is their story.

Old style valves are prone to sticking and blockage. PV valves are truly different. MAC’s patented D-seal technology isolates the solenoid: As a result of MAC’s innovative solution, contamination, sticking and burning are reduced and the valve has a longer life.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Epson Robot Training by FPE Automation

Get the training you need to get the most out of your Epson SCARA robot.

FPE Automation offers expert, on-site Epson robot training.

In order to properly leverage the technology, you need to feel comfortable with it. Trust FPE Automation to guide you through the process.

Monday, June 3, 2019

New Directional Control Products Catalog from FPE Automation

MAC Valves In-stock, MAC Fieldbus and Much More

FPE Automation's new Directional Control Products catalog offers a selection of items that are either in stock, or readily available, without a long lead time. 

All in a format that makes ordering easy and convenient.

Check it out for yourself. We think you will see why this catalog is a customer favorite!

PDF  Download the Directional Control Products Catalog

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

FPE Automation Partners with Soft Robotics

Announcing a new partnership between FPE Automation and Soft Robotics

By: Sandia Harrison

Now offering mGrip by Soft Robotics, an on-demand, soft robotic modular gripping system.

  • Plug and Play with any robot on the market
  • Use components to build a parallel or circular gripper in minutes
  • P2 UR+ kit available for Universal Robots: Seamlessly integrates with UR Teach Pendant via UR CAP
  • Safely and effectively grips delicate items, items of varying weight and size and other items that were previously challenging to pick

Tolomatic Introduces New RSX Extreme Force Electric Actuator

Introducing the NEW RSX096 Press Electric Linear Actuator from Tolomatic

Capable of doing the job of hydraulic actuators - only better.

Designed for pressing, punching, clinching, joining, and other applications requiring extreme force.

Available at FPE Automation

Monday, May 20, 2019

FPE South Tough Mudder

FPE Takes Part in Tough Mudder Endurance Event

By: Sandia Harrison

Tough Mudder is a an endurance test to chance to test your teamwork, conquer obstacles for up to 10 miles, have some fun and get a little muddy!

FPE Automation's St. Louis team took part in one over the weekend. Here they are at the finish, still smiling. Love this picture, and this great group of people! 

Friday, May 17, 2019

BViQ by MAC Valves

The latest product release from MAC Valves:

Introducing BViQ

By: Sandia Harrison

BViQ® brings the Bullet Valve® to the masses with a modular plug-in approach.

MAC Valves multi patented Bullet Valve® and subsequent products utilizing Bullet Valve® Technology  have brought innovation to the air valve industry with MAC’s patented balanced lifting-type solenoid design resulting in superior life, reliability, and repeatability, as well as superior flow in a compact package.

The BViQ® is available in B314 and BV414 configurations featuring these innovative characteristics:

  • Dual Bullet Valve® Cartridge slices – reducing overall footprint
  • Dual 4-way slices
  • Intermixing of 3-way & 4-way valve slices in a common assembly
  • MAConnect® – available for wire-free manifold interconnects
  • Single fastener BV mounting – provides quick and simple assembly
  • Adapts via MAConnect® to several interface adapter types – including MI/O-67®
  • Many of the Bullet Valve® modifications available – optimized rubbers, flows, etc.


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Factory Automation Process Improvement Seminar in Ottawa, Illinois


Interact with our experts and see the latest from Cognex, Epson, Universal Robots, Omron and MiR, with products from PHD, Robotiq and OnRobot featured as well. Discuss your own applications. We’ll incorporate your real-life examples and show you the cutting edge technology that is transforming the workplace in unprecedented ways. All in a relaxed, hands-on setting.

Lunch will be served.


Machine vision systems and sensors for factory automation, barcode readers for industrial ID.


HMI, PLC, safety and machine controls, all-in-one programming.


6-axis collaborative and SCARA robots, as well as mobile autonomous industrial robots.

TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2019
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Ottawa Starved Rock Area
3000 Fairfield Ln, Ottawa, IL 61350


Collaborative Robots in Manufacturing Event Coming to St. Louis

Breakfast with the Bots

FPE Automation is bringing Universal Robots, the worlds #1 collaborative robots, to the Tapawingo Golf Club in St. Louis!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019
8:00 am - noon

Is your company faced with a workforce shortage? Are you having difficulties finding qualified people who can do the job? Come learn how collaborative robotics can help solve your workforce challenges.

In this show-and-tell workshop, while enjoying a delicious breakfast, you will learn how collaborative robots (also referred to as “cobots”) can add value to your company, boost productivity, and improve reliability. Cobots are industrial robots designed to work with, and among, employees without the need for costly safety infrastructure. The Breakfast with the Bots workshop will include demonstrations of cobots, and the opportunity to learn about the many ways cobots can benefit your operation.

This event is designed for plant managers, directors, operations managers, and others in operational leadership roles.

Additional information is available here.


Friday, May 10, 2019

Cobots: Solving the Manufacturing Labor Challenge

Collaborative Robot Open House with Presenters FPE Automation and Universal Robots

FPE Automation's Carson Weaver and Universal Robots' Misa Ilkhechi are guest speakers at the Fusion Cobotics Open House on Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Sponsored by Fusion and IMEC, this special event will feature:

  • Machine shop tours (see the cobots in action)
  • Feature presentations (FPE Automation and Universal Robots, plus much more!)
  • Mini trade show
  • Evening special guest appearance with Pro Football Hall-of-Farner Dan Hampton of the Chicago Bears (Sharing his journey to the NFL and his experiences with the '85 Chicago Bears)


  1. Visit the link above.
  2. Click “Get Tickets”
  3. Click "Enter Promotional Code" in the upper right corner of the pop-up window
  4. Enter code FUSION-FPE. The price per ticket for Cobots: Solving the Manufacturing Labor Challenge will drop to $0.
  5. Select number of tickets.
  6. Click "Checkout"
  7. Enter Contact information for each attendee.
Questions or issues?  Please contact Emily Lee with IMEC at 309-677-4633 or

Individual Discount Codes – all will drop ticket price to $0

Fusion Cobotics

FPE Automation

Universal Robots