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Robotics: changing the automotive industry


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When it comes to industrial robotics, there’s no doubt that its greatest impact is in the automotive industry. The technology has given manufacturers a competitive advantage – improving the quality of production, increasing output capacity and protecting workers from potential hazards. However, it took decades of refinement for us to reach the point where we are at now.

After World War II, the industrial boom required manufacturers to meet increasing demands. The only way to do this was to create and implement technology that could assist in the delivery of higher and more consistent outputs. Factories experimented with new methods and approaches, but it was the arrival of the first integrated circuit in 1970 that signalled the real possibilities of automation.

“Nowadays, it’s common to find single-arm robots used for repetitive work in automotive factories,” says Riccardo Ferrari, Yaskawa Southern Africa’s System Solutions Engineer. “They’re generally used for spot welding, glue application, milling and the handling of larger parts such as bonnets, windshields, and bumpers. And you’ll also find thembeing utilised in the painting of cars, which has been a robotic process for a long time now.”… more


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Ctrack Freight & Transport index indicates a two-speed recovery

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Polo Vivo range gets a stylish special edition derivative

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Toyota’s global sales recover to about 90% of year-on-year levels

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What would Enzo do?

By Graham Duxbury @TheRealDux

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There has been intense speculation on social media and elsewhere about what course of action the departed Enzo Ferrari would take following the exceptionally poor performances of Scuderia Ferrari in the 2020 Formula One World Championship.

How would "il Drake" react to the team’s on-track humiliation and the beating it has taken off-track from the merciless Italian press? “We no longer want the smiles and fits of optimism” writes one Italian journalist, referring to “the Ferrari nightmare”, while another notes that “if there’s a chance that something is going to go wrong [at Ferrari], it will”. A respected publication maintains that “Ferrari has already lost: No car, no philosophy, no drivers”.

Is team boss Mattia Binotto’s head on the Maranello chopping block?

Enzo Ferrari was a man not given to sentiment. This has been clearly illustrated by Romolo Tavoni, Ferrari’s “director of sport” between 1950 and October 1961 when he and his management and technical team members were unceremoniously sacked by Ferrari.

In this case, it wasn’t the team’s performance that was called into question – Ferrari had just clinched the ’61 World Drivers’ Championship for Phil Hill and the World Constructors’ Championship (or the International Cup for F1 Manufacturers, as it was then known).

No, the reason for Enzo’s ire was somewhat unusual. As explained by Tavoni in a media interview in 2011, the death of Enzo’s son Dino had badly affected "il grande vecchio” (the great old man). He was often in ill health and did not attend races. But his wife Laura did.

Unfortunately, Laura Ferrari was intent on interfering with the team. “The main problem was the constant nagging criticism, often vilification, of the senior staff in front of junior employees. Her behaviour was affecting the factory operation,” noted Tavoni who suggested she might be “suffering mental problems”.

Following a letter sent to Ferrari setting out the issues – and receiving no reply - every dissatisfied team member (including some notable names like Carlo Chiti and Giotto Bizzarrini) was handed an envelope containing a month’s salary and promptly escorted from the Maranello premises.

Photocredit: Forza Magazine

More Motorsport News...

 

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Automotive Business Review August / September 2020

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