Discovering Jaka Robotics with country manager Giacomo Mariotti, who is taking care of its arrival and diffusion in Italy in particular. – Maria Costanza Candi
Just Always Keep Amazing : here is the hidden meaning in the acronym that makes up the name of Jaka Robotics , a spin off of the University of Shanghai founded in 2014 to amaze and which today has over 10,000 robots installed all over the world, 600 employees and one headquarters German, in Nuremberg, which plays the fully operational role of headquarters for the European market.
The company motto, which reads ” free your hands “, tells of a mission that sees robotics as a unique tool for collaboration with people, to relieve them of the burden of repetitive and tiring tasks, moreover with low added value.
The history of Jaka Robotics on the market is characterized by constant growth, starting from China, extending to South East Asia and then arriving in Europe in 2022 via the technical/commercial headquarters in Germany. A geographical location that allows us to follow customers in every aspect, offering constant assistance and absolutely competitive supply times, by virtue of the use of an air express courier for deliveries.
The Italian service, developed with the collaboration of partners authorized at service level II, guarantees constant support for the customer and a very short supply chain made up of highly professional interlocutors.
« In Europe we can count on the collaboration of professionals in every country » says Giacomo Mariotti , who has held the position of country manager for Jaka Robotics since July 2023 . « And this allows us to collaborate closely with system integrators in the development of projects, following customers step by step, according to a philosophy that does not aim to simply distribute the product but to be an integral part of the business development of our users, as innovation accelerators. We are also working hard on partnerships, with high-end players such as OnRobot, with whom we have entered into an agreement in particular for the development of plug and play kits in machine tending on various applications, which will be followed by palletising and end of line. We have more than 300 partners across Europe who collaborate with us and supply grippers, vision systems, linear axes and software, with the aim of creating an ecosystem of simplified solutions, ideal for customers. Schneider Electric, for example, recently included one of our collaborative arms in its catalogue, demonstrating that Jaka technology is ready for the European market thanks to the wide range of testing and certifications, whether binding or optional “.
It should be remembered that, in Europe, in addition to technical assistance, Jaka Robotics also guarantees pre-sales application support, which includes simulations and project studies. Furthermore, with its online Academy, it offers free advanced training in all phases of product management right from the first installation, without this excluding personalized paths defined in the field based on the specific needs of the customer.
As we know, cobots are fully collaborative 6-axis robots, which allow the operator to be freed from the most dangerous and repetitive jobs, where the human being is the ” mind and the added value ” while the robot is a smart assistant, which makes up for to the less qualifying part of the job. And it is according to this paradigm that the Jaka Robotics range has been developed in its wide variety.
« We start from the Zu line, full optional with very varied payloads from 3 to 18 kg and 1300 mm of lateral extension – Mariotti specifies in this regard – ideal for end-of-line applications in food, pharma and cosmetics. It should be underlined that the repeatability is also notable, with 2 hundredths of a millimeter declared, for a precision that is among the strong points of our product. Another plus are the consumption parameters within 600 Watts, which make the line particularly sustainable. But there are many distinctive features, including the possibility of integration into many packaging applications with integration in the seventh and eighth axes and the insertion of linear axes and telescopic columns to broaden the reachability of the robot.
Furthermore, Wi-Fi programming not only helps to expand the application without the limits determined by cabling, but allows it to be programmed offline from any device, Windows, Apple, or Android; by then connecting to the router inside the cabinet, the system goes live to control the robot… An advantage for flexibility but also in case of faults and soon it will also be web based. The robot is full optional and open to all the most popular communication protocols, Profinet, TCP-IP, Modbus, Ethernet and supports various programming languages such as Python, C++… In short, we do everything to simplify users’ lives in every respect . »
Also ideal for the packaging market is Jaka Pro, the only IP68 range in the world, on which Mariotti continues:
« The Pro is a fundamental step, because thanks to the watertightness, the robot can work in any type of environment, including vaporizations, oils, shavings, expressing a level of protection that makes it ideal for servicing in any market, from food to painting. Aluminum body, compressed air also internally, completely revised servo-actuator design and a model with a payload of up to 16 kg, the Pro 16 with lateral extension of 1700 mm meets the needs of the best end of line. »
Designed specifically for food administration, the MiniCobo with 1 kg of payload and 560 mm of reach is already operational in new applications, such as serving food to vending machines, managed online or by app, where the cobot governs the entire process , from ordering to serving the customer.
« The requests for food serving, especially from large chains, are many and of various types» Mariotti continues . «These are environments where the operator must be supported in preparing the food on the trays, but also in the display and management of all the repeatable elements, typical of fast food, such as the positioning of the hamburgers. A further application area of this small, large cobot is intralogistics, perhaps with the robotic arm on board an AGV or AMR: we have in fact prepared an integrated version with lithium battery power supply, 2D vision system and torque force sensor to create tending applications with a mobile robot, which is strategic for improving efficiency and quality of work. The “Mobot” is an Italian project developed with the partner Alascom which allows an AMR in complete autonomy to carry out contextually programmed missions by modifying the path in real time if the operator enters the movement area of the mobile robot “.
Finally, regarding sustainability, Mariotti gives us some considerations:
« Our robots are 4.0 ready and allow you to download all the data, remotely analyzing their functioning to study efficiency strategies as well as reducing consumption and waste. In general, consumption is extremely low and we are working on a green PDT (Performance Digital Traceability) certification in view of the upcoming 5.0 transition. It should be underlined that the flexibility and mobility characteristics of a cobot make it possible to drastically reduce the space occupied, but above all to reconfigure the production lines with a minimum operating cost, drastically reducing the impacts in terms of costs, disruption of the layout and optimization of existing resources.
We focus heavily on the Italian SME market, which often needs to revamp existing lines where Jaka technology can intervene effectively, supporting the automation of processes and the modernization of existing plants. »
Academic path at Bocconi, with a specialization in innovation and new technologies, Giacomo Mariotti has kept attention on these themes alive by working first and foremost on interactive virtual reality for the industrial world. Initially an export manager with an international scope, he finally moved on to robotics and AMRs, mobile collaborative robotics, an authentic expression of the most advanced industrial concepts in the 4.0 and 5.0 evolutions. Since July 2023 he has occupied the position of country manager in Jaka Robotics, bringing with him a wealth of concepts and ideas developed over time.
« In recent years I have taken an active part in the development of collaborative robotics, trying to modify an incorrect communication message that was widespread in the early stages of its appearance. Cobots have long been presented as easy to use and install, bringing to market many devices that now lie unused due to a lack of in-house expertise. The customer must be trained to understand that, to activate a successful project, quality consultancy is needed, a system integrator who studies the context, develops a personalized project and follows it up to installation. But specific training of resources is also needed, to make the new technology a competitive asset of the company and a commercial partner ready to assist the customer at any time .”