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.