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App. B—Commissioned Background Papers .

123

Mitchell Hutchins Inc.

The decade of the 1980s will see the need to modernize the U.S. manufacturing base at a time when the change in demographics will result in a sharp decline in the number of workers avail-

able for blue collar jobs as well as an overall drop in the number of people entering the work

force as a whole.

U.S.

industry will have to quicken its pace of

competitive, and only through the sector will the automated factory

widespread

use of

computers and

eventually

become

a reality.

automation if it is to remain robots in the manufacturing

AN ANALYSIS OF ROBOT USE

What Exactly Is a Robot?

Disagreement exists among both foreign and American manufacturers over the appropriate defi- nition of an industrial robot:

The most widely quoted definition has been published by the Robot Institute of

America (RIA) , a trade association of trade manufacturers and users. defines a robot as “...a reprogrammable, multifunctional manipulator

The RIA designed

to move for the

material, parts, performance of a

tools or specialized variety of tasks."

devices

through

variable

motions

The Japanese Industrial Robot Associates (JIRA)

specified four levels of robots:

  • 1.

    Manual manipulators that perform fixed or preset sequences.

  • 2.

    Teaching playback robots that repeat fixed instructions after being

taught a work procedure.

  • 3.

    N.C. robots executing operations on the basis of numerically coded information.

  • 4.

    Intelligence robots that perform various functions through its sensing and recognizing capabilities.

While many

other

standards, a

robot

definitions abound, the key should be both programmable

difference is and versatile.

that by Hence,

commonly the RIA

accepted American would not include

manual manipulators,

so that Japanese

comparable.

Definitional

differences

and U.S. robot population statistics are not precisely aside, Japan leads all other countries in its acceptance,

use and government support of robots.

Their industry lead is substantial,

particularly when

viewed in relationship to the relative size of their GNP. Table 3: Geographic Distribution of Robots

Japan

47,000

Us.

Europe West Germany

5,850

Sweden

Italy Poland Norway England

Finland Belgium

AS Reported

720

10,000

3,255

19

850 600 500 360 200 185 130 20

5 3 3 2 1 1 1

Using RIA Definition

Other Total Source

1,400 17,500

R-IA, JIRA, Business Breakdown of U.S. Market Week.

8 100

Units

Programmable Non-Servo Controlled Servo Controlled --Point to Point

‘-Continuous Path

source:

JIRA, RIA.

  • General

Purpose

1,800 355

1,100

2,155 3,255

5

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