Manufacturing Today - January/February 2015 - 136

Force Robots LLC
www.forcerobots.com / HQ: Cleveland / Specialty: Robotics / Steve Somes, owner: "We make
our robots accessible and useful to small- and medium-sized manufacturers."

Northeast

force robots' products use force
to sense and perform their work,
allowing manufacturers to
automate some processes.

Robot Revolution

force robots continues to develop cutting-edge
robots for manufacturing. by jeff borgardt

A National Science Foundation
award gave Force Robots its start
eight years ago, and the startup
continues today with its mission
to develop better robots for industry. "Winning the National Science
Foundation award enabled us to develop our prototype," owner Steve
Somes says. "We got it up and running and into a manufacturing facility to show what it can do."
Its success finishing turbine
blades for aircraft jet engines and
ground-based turbine engines drove
the development of a second-generation robot for the broader man136

manufacturing-today.com JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2015

ufacturing market. Now, "We are
talking to other manufacturers in
aerospace and the industrial sector
about robots that do finishing work
on castings and machine parts,"
Somes says.

New Frontier of Automation
Force Robots' products represent
a new age of manufacturing robots
that use force to sense and perform
their work. The technology allows
manufacturers to automate processes not possible with conventional systems.
The robots excel in aerospace

work with its complex, high-performance parts and sophisticated
processes. Human labor is more
difficult to control and a single mistake could scrap parts worth thousands of dollars, Somes explains.
"There is a very high cost for error,"
he says. Humans, unlike robots, are
also prone to repetitive-motion
stress injuries.
The company's robots arrive at
the customer's facility fully assembled and simply need to be placed
onsite. Installation takes less than
five minutes. Another advantage
of this type of robot is that it can
work side-by-side with humans and
doesn't need to be cordoned off.
"Conventional robots work in
cells which must have everything
built around [the robot] to conform and arrange to it,' Somes explains. "This makes them inflexible


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Manufacturing Today - January/February 2015

Contents
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2015 - Cover1
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2015 - Cover2
Manufacturing Today - January/February 2015 - 1
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Manufacturing Today - January/February 2015 - Cover3
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