Symbio Robotics/Ford: AI-enabled robotics in manufacturing

By Georgia Wilson
Symbio Robotics reduces complexity and increases safety at Ford Motor Company's Livonia transmission plant with an AI-controlled robot...

From making roads safer, to accelerating autonomous vehicles, increasing electrification and harnessing 5G connectivity, Ford Motor Company is nothing but a driver of innovation and adopter of advanced technologies.

Following Ford Motor Company’s reporting of stronger results for 2021 Q1, Symbio Robotics releases details on its work with the automotive manufacturer to deploy an AI-controlled robot at Ford’s Livonia Transmission Plant. 

The next frontier of manufacturing

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Founded in 2014, Symbio Robotics helps manufacturers to increase their factory efficiency by automating processes that before, could only be done manually. Through its combination of artificial intelligence (AI) and industrial robotics, Symbio Robotics is a pioneer for “the next frontier of manufacturing.”

Building automations that enable human and machine collaboration, Symbio Robotics’ designs technology to mitigate existing manufacturing pain points. “Through the use of AI applied by people, the robots quickly learn and execute tasks increasing efficiency, improving quality and reducing ergonomic hazards,” says Symbio Robotics.

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Ford Motor Company harnesses Symbio Robotics technology

Deployed at its Livonia Transmission Plant, Symbio Robotics’ robot deployed at the plant is programmed and managed with Symbio’s robot-agnostic platform (SymbioDCS) to assemble transmissions for Ford’s Bronco Sport, Escape and Edge.

With the assembly process for transmissions being renowned for its complexity from an efficiency and safety standpoint, many manufacturers have taken to automating the challenging possess. 

Helping Ford to reduce complexities, and increase efficiency and safety, Ford has seen a 15% cycle time improvement compared to its previous method for transmission torque converter assembly. Collecting large amounts of data, Symbio Robotics AI-controlled robot installs components into the transmission, predicting how it should assemble the next components based on previous performance.

“Symbio’s focus is on delivering technology that allows companies like Ford to adopt AI as a core competency. AI-enabled automation looks very different. It's not just about automation, it's about providing tools that empower automation teams to deploy and maintain more general, flexible systems,” said Max Reynolds, CEO and co-founder, Symbio Robotics. 

“As the mobility landscape continues to rapidly change there is an increasing demand for much faster product life cycles. Using the Symbio technology, we’ve observed a 15% improvement in cycle time and greater than 50% reduction in adapting to new products over the previous manufacturing method," said Harry Kekedjian, Advanced Controls and Digital Factory Manager, Ford.

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