The current trend of Industry 4.0 describes the process of increasing automation and data exchange for manufacturing technologies including cloud-computing, IoT and cyber-physical systems. In the past years, many of the tech-inventions and industrial robots were designed to operate autonomously and to perform programed processes separately from human actions. However, recent developments evolve another facet of automation: collaborative robotics. These “cobots” − equipped with sensors − are able to interact with their human co-workers, apprehend movements and positions, and therefore individually adapt to occurring situations. They are meant to assist in monotonous and physically demanding progresses, and work in cooperation with human employees. Nevertheless, in order to guarantee a certain level of safety and to reduce the injury risk, numerous measures need to be implemented within a company. Which steps should be taken to benefit from these trends? How could German and Japanese SMEs contribute to a safe working environment including cobots?
Dr. Harald Grübel concluded the studies of engineering at the University of Stuttgart in 1981. He additionally gained the PhD on “Laser diodes in communication networks” and held the position of assistant professor at the Institute for Electrical and optical Communication. After leading positions in research and development, production, quality management in the automation business and being Chairman of the Board of a leading supplier of automation components, he joined Euchner GmbH and has been Chief Operations Officer since 2013.
After completing his engineering studies at RWTH Aachen in 1984, Georges Hindi graduated from San Diego State University, USA, gaining an MBA degree in International Business. He joined Euchner GmbH in 2000 and has been responsible for the international business including Global Automotive.
Word of Greeting
Tetsuya Kimura, Consul General of Japan in charge of Southern Germany
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