JUNE-JULY 2018 Nov-Dec 2017 - Copy - Page 10

NEWS World’s first 3-D printed concrete bridge opens to public The first 3D-printed concrete bridge has been completed in the Netherlands as a crossing for cyclists, but construction company BAM Infra claims it could take the weight of 40 lorries. Made from pre-fabricated concrete blocks 3D-printed by robots, the 8-metre-long bridge forms part of a new ring- road being constructed around Gemert in the Dutch province of Brabant. BAM Infra and Eindhoven University of Technology collaborated on the project, which they claim is the “world’s first 3D printed reinforced, pre-stressed concrete bridge”. It took three months for robots to print the 800 layers of pre- stressed, reinforced concrete in sections in the university’s laboratory. A 3D printer laid some 800 layers of concrete to create the eight-metre bicycle bridge in the Dutch town of Gemert with the need for auxiliary materials, such as formwork. The unique design uses less concrete than a traditional poured concrete bridge, making it a more sustainable construction process. This greatly reduces the amount of waste and decreases use of scarce raw materials. And this working method also has a positive effect on CO 2 emissions during the production process of the bridge. Innovation plays a crucial role in this. 3D printing does away www.phys.org ABB and Kawasaki announce collaborative robot automation cooperation ABB and Kawasaki Heavy Industries, two global industrial automation and robot suppliers, announced that the companies will join forces to share knowledge and promote the benefits of collaborative robots, in particular those with dual arm designs. The global cooperation will become effective immediately. 10 This is the world’s first collaboration that focuses on “cobots” and creation of common industry approaches to safety, programming and communications Under the new cooperation, both robot makers will continue independently manufacturing and marketing their own offerings while working together on joint technical and awareness opportunities. This includes educating policy makers, NGOs and the general public about the benefits of collaborative automation, and creating common industry approaches to safety, programming and communications. The cooperation also represents collaboration across borders, with ABB as Europe’s largest robot supplier and Kawasaki one of Asia’s industrial giants. www.abb.com www.ghmediabusiness.com