The Automotive Industry
It has been the automotive industry which has fostered robotic technologies in the United States and worldwide. Within U.S. automotive plants, Unimate robots had been used in conjunction with metal stamping operations in the late 1950’s at Ford. Robotics in the United States took its first major step in 1970 at the GM assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio with the introduction of 26 welding robots. Recently the $100 million conversion of the Detroit Jefferson Street Plant of Chrysler Corporation involved the extensive use of industrial robots. The renovation “…literally stripped the existing machinery and equipment… and replaced it with the most advanced technology known in the industry: and resulted in practically doubling production on subassembly operation. The robot population in U.S. automotive manufacturing plants now exceeds 1,000. Robot use in the total automotive industry is probably over 50% of the U.S. total if robots used by light manufacturing plants and foundries which supply automotive parts are included in the count. The 1981 robot population in the automotive industry worldwide suggested a total of 5,000. Robots are now used in come aspect of production by virtually every auto maker in the world: Rolls Royce, BMW, Saab, Renault, Nissan, Toyota, Volvo, Volkswagen, Honda, and Mercedes Benz.
KeywordsAutomotive Industry General Motor Industrial Robot Manufacturing Plant Robotic Technology
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