Friday, December 10, 2021

A Single Robot Tends Two Machines: A Filling Application Case Study

Pick & Place: When it is beneficial to build a robotic cell. 

A repurposed UR3 now tends two machines and still gets better output.

Before this project started, Bisco's Won Suh already understood the advantages of automating. He had a Universal Robots UR3e that he wanted to repurpose for a new pick and place filling application. He just didn't have bandwidth to get it done in-house. 

That's the great part about FPE Automation's Handshake Solutions. We can put together a unique team just for you, so that your implementation is successful. For Bisco, this included automation experts from both FPE Automation and Designhawk InnovationsDesignhawk is an industrial automation firm located in Chicago. They specialize in helping companies just like Bisco to automate. 

Take a look at how this UR3e robot reliably and consistently handles this pick and place filling application. Along with Universal Robots, you'll notice an OGZ gripper and OSW slide, both from PHD Inc. The bowl feeder was provided by Mirai Inter-technologies. You'll also notice MAC Valves, and a Camozzi air prep system used here. It's exactly the type of multi-product engineering that makes FPE Automation's Handshake Solutions so valuable. Pulling together world-class technology, we can achieve the end results you need.

FPE Automation handshake solutions are nearly endless in scope and possibility. We can help you automate vision systems, robotic pick and place applications, palletizing, welding, machining, sanding and grinding, logistics and more, just to name a few.

To learn how we can help you make automation a reality for your business, visit

Whatever your requirements are, FPE Automation can help you to get started.



Thursday, December 9, 2021

Is Automation Really "Revolutionizing Manufacturing"?

Revolutionizing Manufacturing: It's What We Do.

It is also the title of an article run recently by the Elk Grove Village Business Journal, a publication in the hometown of FPE Automation's corporate offices; Elk Grove Village, Illinois

Revolutionizing? That's quite a word! If you think the journalists are overstating it, consider this:

 At no time in the 50+ years of FPE Automation's history has manufacturing in our region undergone such a sweeping change. The positive effect that automation is having on the way we do business, combat labor shortages, keep workers safe, etc. is far-reaching. 

The good news? FPE Automation can help take the intimidation factor out of automating your business. If this article leaves you curious about what the possibilities are for your company, we invite you to check out the case studies. Businesses all over the Midwest, just like yours, are reaping big benefits from robotics, vision and AI. 

The latest industrial automation technology is boosting productivity and profitability for U.S. manufacturers.

We'd like to thank the Elk Grove Village Business Journal for the press! We hope you enjoy the article

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Zero to Fully Prepared in Less Than Two Days

Deploy Collaborative Robots and Automate Your Business: No Programming Skills Needed 

Adam Homan from Integrated Machinery Systems recently attended Universal Robots CORE Training at FPE Automation. He knew he would be learning how to program a Universal Robot. 

He left with a comfort level better than he expected.

This is what he had to say about the two days he spent at FPE Automation's state-of-the-art training center:

Adam Honan - Integrated Machinery Solutions
"Zero to this in less than 2 days. I’m sure this is no big deal to a lot of experts out there. But for a guy who has avoided programming like the plague for my entire life and has never worked with a robot, this felt like a huge accomplishment."

"Big thanks to [certified instructor] Leena Antony and the team at FPE Automation, Inc. for the excellent Universal Robots A/S training."

"Really looking forward to pairing this technology... to help manufacturers solve staffing and production issues."

Universal Robots' Senior Manager, Strategic Marketing & Applications Development, Joe Campbell, had this to say about Adam Homan and his successful CORE training...

"And so it starts! I have seen this scenario again and again - one smart individual quickly learns the fundamentals of Universal Robots A/S cobots, works with a value-added distributor like FPE Automation, Inc. to get their first cell up and running, and starts to incrementally re-shape their manufacturing processes.

"50,000+ UR cobots can't be wrong!"

Learn to program and operate a Universal Robot. FPE Automation, one of the few Universal Robots Platinum Distributors globally, offers UR CORE training at two Midwest Training & Technology Centers; one near O'Hare Airport in the greater Chicago region, and the other just outside St. Louis, in Missouri. In both, you'll spend time interacting, hands-on with the robots. 

You'll find FPE Automation's current CORE training schedule here

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Business Owners and Entrepreneurs: Let's Talk About Automation

Automation: A Topic That Can Make or Break Your Business

FPE Automation is answering your questions about how to move forward. Staying competitive in today's business landscape depends on it. 

FPE Automation is a local, family-owned business. We have lived and worked in the community we serve for nearly 60 years. 

We realize that a big part of making sure our community thrives is to ensure that local businesses, both small and large, are doing so. That's why education is so important to us. 

This week, Joey Bardos, President, FPE Automation, spoke at the Enclave Learning & Earning Center for Entrepreneurs in our hometown, Elk Grove Village, IL. 

The topic? Robotics, AI, smart manufacturing and more. We understand that automating is a shift in how you do business. We also know there are a lot of options to consider. We're trying to take the guesswork out of how to take your company to the next level. We want to help you:

  • Do more with less
  • Combat labor shortages
  • Retain the good workers you have
  • Keep them safer on the job
  • Improve the quality of your products

We don't think it's hyperbole when we say that the future of our community depends on it. These are pivotal times. Your business needs to stay competitive. 

Since automation is an investment, we want to make sure the following is accomplished:

  • Your implementation goes smoothly
  • It impacts your business in a measurable, positive way
  • Your team has the skills to effectively deploy and re-deploy the technology
  • You are taking advantage of available tax credits and possibly even government grants to help you invest in automation

That's why we have spent much of 2019-2021 partnering with groups like TMA, IMEC, ENCLAVE, local community colleges, high schools and our villages and towns to figure out ways that we can be of value to those that surround us. Our goal is to educate students, employees, businesses about the ways that we can make them more profitable and efficient.

Please reach out to us if you'd like to sit down and talk about what your options are. We're happy to help! 


Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Attend a Robotics and AI Masterclass with FPE Automation's Joey Bardos

Enclave Learning & Earning Center for Entrepreneurs Hosts a Masterclass to Discuss Robotics, AI, Smart Manufacturing and More

You and your colleagues are cordially invited!

On 11.17.21, if you're coming to, through, or near Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, please travel only three miles west to  for the next Third Wednesdays Evening Masterclass No. 51. We'll welcome to the stage Joey Bardos, President of FPE Automation, Inc. in Elk Grove Village, IL.

Joey will offer for discussion actionable insights about robotics, AI, smart manufacturing, and much more.

For more information about the evening, Enclave, Joey, and FPE Automation visit:


#fpegivesback #fpeautomation #industrialrobotics #jobsinmanufacturing #manufacturingjobs #factoryautomation #robotics #businessowners #learning #ai #entrepreneurs #manufacturing #robotics #automation #businessbroker #businessowners #thoughtleaders #thoughtleadership #masterclasses

Hope to see you and your colleagues on the 17th.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

FPE Automation is a QC Conveyors Platinum Distributor

FPE Achieves Platinum Distributor Status with QC Conveyors

FPE Automation's Scott Massie met up with QC Conveyors' Stacey Stowell today to accept an award for achieving platinum distributor status. 

FPE Automation and QC Conveyors have been successful partners for more than a decade. Our teams have collaborated on thousands of applications, of all sizes and types. Scott Massie (left) is FPE Automation's Sales Manager, and a product expert. Stacey Stowell (right) is a Senior Channel Sales Manager at QC Conveyors. Two of the most dedicated (and busiest) people in the business!

Let's talk conveyors for a moment. Often, when implementing high-end automation, a great deal of focus goes into the type of robot or cameras needed. Unfortunately, some engineers have learned the hard way - don't forget to carefully select the right conveyor!

Conveyor technology is far more intricate than most people realize. Your conveyor has to be at least as precise and reliable as any component in your vision system or robotic application - maybe more. Otherwise, you won't achieve the results you expect. It also needs to be just the right model. Taking all of this into consideration is how QC Conveyors became an industry leader. 

Not only do they have an impressive array of innovative, reliable conveyors for industrial, food and beverage, and packaging applications. QC Conveyors, based in the Midwest, offers belt conveyors, plastic chain conveyors, gripper, elevator and sanitary conveyors. 

Just as importantly, their online Configurator tools help you select just the right one to fit your needs. If you still need help, their support team is one of the best in the business. 

All of us at FPE Automation are truly honored to accept this award. We know that an exceptional conveyor speaks for itself. So, our gratitude is two-fold. We'd like to thank the entire FPE Automation team for their high confidence in QC Conveyors, and for everyone's individual contribution to this success. At the same time, we'd like to thank QC Conveyors for manufacturing a product so superior that our customers ask for it by name. Without that, this achievement wouldn't have been possible.

Friday, October 29, 2021

FPE Automation Takes Part in Collaborative Robot Event at Southwestern Illinois College

Granite City, IL

Southwestern Illinois College Hosts a Successful Automation Event with FPE Automation

The latest collaborative robot (cobot) technology, including machine vision, was on display yesterday at the Collaborative Robotics Automation Conference at Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC). By all accounts, the event was a big success! 

FPE Automation brought a live, working demo of ActiNav cobot bin picking and next-generation machine loading technology by Universal Robots

Melton Machine and Control Company and Computech Manufacturing, both Washington, Missouri-based companies, also participated in the event. Both brought cobot welding displays to the event. Melton's turnkey solution, CoboWeld MIG automates MIG welding, and Computech's CoboWeld TIG automates TIG welding. Both are easy to use, weld consistently, and eliminate production bottlenecks. Little to no PC or robot experience is needed, and the robot can be welding within a few minutes.

One attendee brought their own part with them, which they were able to weld on the spot. 

As a whole, the event was designed to help companies in our community automate. Labor shortages continue to be a major challenge in our region. Because we live and work here, we're invested in the future of Midwest manufacturing. Bridging the gap between students and companies has never been more crucial. Introducing both to the technology of the future will help our region thrive for a generation to come. 

For businesses, it's all about finding the right process strategy. The goal of the conference was to help companies become more efficient by leveraging the many benefits of automation. They can increase productivity, solve labor challenges, reduce margin of error and make their place of business safer, all by implementing cobots.

For college students, being well-prepared to work in automation means they are embarking on what will be a rewarding, and very much in-demand career. 

Speakers from IMEC and SWIC provided valuable information about how both students and businesses can remain competitive in a changing economic landscape, by understanding and utilizing automation in a way that works for them. 

The overall message was such an important one, and the response of those who attended was so overwhelmingly positive. 

FPE Automation would like to thank SWIC for inviting us to be part of this important event. We value the relationships that we have with our local educational institutions to help educate and shape our current and future workforce.


Tuesday, October 26, 2021

What Does It Mean to be a Universal Robots Platinum Partner?

By: Sandia Harrison

FPE Automation Receives Award for Universal Robots Platinum Distributor Status

You may have heard the news. Earlier this year, it was announced that FPE Automation had achieved the coveted platinum distributor status with Universal Robots

Universal Robots is the world's leading manufacturer of collaborative robots, or "cobots", as they are called. They also have one of the most extensive ecosystems of compatible/partner products, called UR+, which is unparalleled in the industry. Cobots have evolved to include reliable sanding, welding, palletizing, machine tending, bin picking and so much more. 

While the original announcement was made back in September, today, Brian Conner from Universal Robots visited us at our state-of-the-art authorized Universal Robots training facility in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, to personally deliver awards and shake hands with FPE's staff who, working as a team, made this possible. Pictured below is Joey Bardos, President, FPE Automation (left), Brian Conner, Channel Development Manager, Universal Robots, and Jomy Vadakumpadam, Automation Controls Division Manager, FPE Automation (right). 

In addition to the award plaques, we were honored to receive this letter from top Universal Robots executives. 

I had the opportunity to see Bryan Bird, Regional Sales Director US and Canada, Universal Robots earlier this month in person, at the Pack Expo trade show, where he offered his congratulations.

He had this to add.

"FPE Automation has been an incredible success story in 2021, driving growth of flexible automation in the Midwest US during a period of severe labor shortage.

 Their recent achievement of Platinum partnership status with Universal Robots reflects their commitment to helping their customers optimize manufacturing operations through deployment of collaborative robots."

So, what does it mean to be a Platinum Distributor? 

No matter who you ask, it is truly an honor. Let's take a look at what it means from a few different perspectives.

Universal Robots Platinum Distributor

Universal Robots considers us "part of an exclusive group of partners worldwide that are awarded this recognition."

FPE Automation's CEO, David Bardos, had this to say. “This is a very elite club and we would like to thank our customers, employees, and all at Universal RobotsUniversal Robots continues to assist our customers in being more productive, profitable and leaders in their respective industries”.

FPE Automation's engineers, solution specialists, support staff and management look at it this way; It's an unprecedentedly busy time. Companies in our region are reaching out to us due to the labor shortages that Bryan Bird mentioned above. They're striving to remain competitive. They face new challenges, and often, carefully planned & engineered process improvements are their lifeline, not only for their survival, but to thrive. 

Our team helps people. One application at a time. That happens to dovetail very nicely with the world-class products Universal Robots provides. Collaborative robots work safely alongside humans to perform work that is often monotonous or unsafe. Because they are so effective, so quick to deploy, have fast ROI, and are so easy to use, they're often a key component to growing and maintaining a successful business. A superior product and a dedicated team are a must. However, an achievement like this would not be possible unless business owners everywhere were in agreement - Universal Robots is an operational game-changer! 

FPE Automation has achieved Universal Robots Platinum Distributor status thanks to you.

Jason Wilmer Wins PHD Top Performer Award for Parts Presentation in a Robotic Cell

FPE Automation's Jason Vilmer: Winner, PHD Inc. Top Performer Award for October 2021

Congratulations to FPE Automation's Jason Vilmer! 

Jason visited a systems integrator to assist them with a new machine build for a coating application in a robotic cell. Because smooth acceleration and extension during fluid dispensing were a must, this was considered a high-performance application. The engineering would need to match.

The challenge Jason faced at that point was not an unusual one. PHD Inc. has hundreds of options. It's a question that engineers ask themselves often during the design phase. Which would be the best one? 

So, Jason, along with PHD's Scott Peters, got to work using advanced tools, along with tried and true methods, CAD, etc. After a detailed review, they decided to recommend an SFP slide for a long X axis and an SE slide for the Z axis. The engineers on staff tested other products as well. 

"We were able to demonstrate smooth linear motion at a constant lower pressure."

Nothing else they tested matched the smooth action and much-needed rigidity of the SFP precision rail with recirculating bearing system. The series SE Slide had the versatility they needed in a single, high-performance package as well.

The solution? The parts are now being presented consistently and reliably.

Trust FPE Automation's experts for process review. We can help! 

Monday, October 18, 2021

Epson RC+ Software Training Class Now Available at FPE Automation

Learn how to use Epson's RC+ Industrial Automation Development Software

Just added at FPE Automation's factory-authorized training centers: 

One Day Event: Epson RC+ Software Training

Epson RC+ Express Software has been revolutionary in lowering the bar for entry into advanced automation applications.

4-axis solutions are now available that can be programmed by people with little to no programming experience, starting at $7,495


Designed for anyone who has been hesitant to tackle robotic applications due to:

      • Lack of in-house automation expertise
      • Little or no programming background

Training is offered free of charge to FPE Automation customers.


Say goodbye to complicated SpEL programming.

Epson RC+ software is included with your robot purchase. There are no recurring licensing fees that other manufacturers may charge thousands for. In this one-day course, we’ll show you how to use Epson’s RC+ software. You’ll become familiar with Robot Manager, an intuitive graphical interface that enables users to manage functions and wizards to simplify automation tasks. We’ll introduce jog functions (world, tool, local, joint, ECP), manage points (teach, name, add descriptions) and more. You’ll learn how to author your own base program and be ready to deploy robots, all in a state-of-the-art, friendly and hands-on setting.

Two Locations

FPE Automation
Factory-Authorized Training Center

80 Gordon Street
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007

FPE Automation
Factory-Authorized Training Center

12951 Gravois Road
Suite 130
Sunset Hills, MO 63127

Select the location/date most convenient for you.

Class hours are 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Lunch and refreshments are provided.


Monday, October 11, 2021

FPE Automation Wins Business Excellence Award

Elk Grove Village Announced FPE Automation is the Winner of 2021 Business Excellence Award for Innovation

Today, at the Made in Elk Grove Village Manufacturing and Technology Expo, village officials announced that they had selected FPE Automation to receive the award for their innovative work in AI, robotics, and other cutting-edge areas of manufacturing. 

FPE Automation's CEO, David Bardos (center), accepted the award at the expo luncheon. Olympic Gold Medalist and one of the world's all-time greatest athletes, Jackie Joyner-Kersee (right), presented him with the trophy, together with the mayor of Elk Grove Village, Craig Johnson (left).

Elk Grove Village, Illinois is home to a large technology park and home to many other companies who work in tech-related fields, so it is truly an honor for FPE Automation to receive this award.

Today's expo took place at Elk Grove Village High School. FPE Automation's booth featured a working collaborative robot demo. It is pictured here. 

Joey Bardos, President of FPE Automation, was in attendance and had this to add, "We are extremely humbled to receive this particular award in a town with as many great companies.  We pride ourselves in our ability to innovate and help our customers and the village of Elk Grove welcomes and embraces that.  A testament to our awesome team and our also innovative partners."

The FPE Automation team would like to thank Elk Grove Village for the recognition. Elk Grove Village is home town to both our corporate office and technology and training center. 

We are very appreciative. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Chad Patkus Wins Mac Valves Distributor of the Month Award

Congratulations to FPE Automation's Chad Patkus - Winner of the MAC Valves Distributor of the Month Award!

It was announced today that Chad Patkus received a Distributor of the Month award for his work at a heavy equipment manufacturer in the transportation sector. The company was using outdated technology and having reliability issues as a result. 

Their top priority was reliability. Ideally, they also wanted a 12VDC valve that could run off a vehicle’s 12-volt electrical system. Ultimately, they got both. 

At this point, Chad, FPE Automation's Scott Massie (Sales Manager & FPE In-house MAC Valves Specialist) and Joe Richardson (VP Sales, MAC Valves) set up a virtual meeting with the customer to present the Bullet Valve® in a custom manifold.

Advantages and Reliability

The team presented the advantages and reliability of the Bullet Valve using animation and showed several configurations of custom Bullet Valve manifolds. Ultimately, the customer decided upon a custom manifold complete with a wiring harness that would connect using Deutsch connectors that are preferred for mobile applications. There appeared to be some clear advantages, but field performance would be the true test. 

After months of testing the performance of the valves in the field, the customer was eager to move forward with the MAC Bullet Valve manifolds on their production equipment. 

Top executives at MAC Valves review application reports, and carefully choose award recipients, based on designs that work. The Bullet Valve manifolds exceeded the customer’s requirements for reliability, came in a slim design, and were plug and play with 12-volt mobile compatibility. 

Reliability issues present more problems than just downtime. They're costlier than ever with global supply chain delays. If your current technology is giving you headaches, reach out to FPE Automation. We may be able to significantly improve your processes using MAC Valves' patented technology. 

On behalf of the FPE Automation team, congratulations, Chad. Great work! 

Monday, September 27, 2021

Case Study: Vision Inspection for Injection Mold Clearing Pays Off

Vision Tools Reduce Damage, Cost, and Downtime

To achieve high productivity with injection molding, part clearance at the end of each mold cycle is critical. If the mold isn’t cleared properly, the core pins and other fine features of the mold may be damaged. The result and corresponding downtime can be catastrophic.

One Customer's Story

PROBLEM:  A large manufacturer of consumer products was experiencing an average of two incidents a year of parts getting stuck in their molds. Failed mold clears cost them $10K+ per replacement or rework of a damaged mold. When you factor in maintenance costs and the cost of downtime, the cost can skyrocket. They needed an automated solution that proactively prevented failed mold clears.

"After the implementation of this solution, the customer has had zero failed mold clear incidents in 3 years."

SOLUTION: FPE Automation provided a system consisting of two vision sensors, two LED bar lights, and Swivellink mounting arms. Total cost was under $6K!  After the implementation of this solution, the customer has had zero failed mold clear incidents in 3 years.

What a typical Mold Clear system consists of:

  • Vison sensor with cables

- Includes free user-friendly software

- FPE Automation provides free machine vision concepts and software training

  • External lighting options (application specific)

  • Mounting accessories (application specific)

  • Optional accessories (application specific)

- HMI screens

- PLCs

- Power supplies

- Stack lights and other fail signals

Why FPE Automation?

·     Experienced Vision Expert

  • Full vision lab for application-specific evaluations
  • 6 Automation Controls Specialists
  • 60 years of servicing the Illinois market with Automation expertise

Please contact Joe Jerger or your local Automation Sales Specialist for more information, or an application review.