Braintech solutions will guide robots manufactured by ABB Inc.'s Robotic, Automotive and Manufacturing Group to locate heavy transmission castings on pallets (called "dunnage"), move the castings to a work area, and then pick up the empty dunnage and place it on a conveyor. The orders resulted from an agreement ABB signed with Braintech earlier this month. This partnership also generated recently announced orders for three ABB/Braintech systems for Ford Motor Company's Romeo, Michigan engine plant.
"Braintech's Single-camera 3D (SC3D(TM)) system will allow ZF Batavia to automate very complex tasks and address serious ergonomic risks to personnel and quality control issues. This vision guided robotic solution will enable them to do away with expensive precision dunnage used in the past, and instead switch to inexpensive part trays," said James M. Dara, Braintech Vice President of Sales/General Manager of North American Operations.
The two systems involve three different transmission parts and the systems will be "trained" (an automated feature of the software) to confirm that they are "looking" at the right parts and the right dunnage. "That's standard operating procedure for the sophisticated ABB/Braintech system," continued Dara. "The entire training and testing process can be accomplished in a few hours."
ZF Batavia is a joint venture between ZF AG of Germany and Ford Motor Company to produce Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVTs), automatics with no conventional gearsets, no pronounced steps in shifting, improved fuel economy and seamless operation. The Ohio plant also builds conventional transmissions. ZF AG is among the 15 largest automotive suppliers in the world. The Company has a total workforce of 53,300 at 119 locations in 25 countries, and combined 2002 revenues of more than $10 billion. ZF Group North American Operations are headquartered in Florence, Kentucky.
Owen Jones, Chief Executive Officer of Braintech, added, "The new ZF Batavia and Ford Romeo orders demonstrate the effectiveness of the combined ABB/Braintech approach to the marketplace. The ZF Batavia installation will be our first application of SC3D robot controlled technology in transmission component manufacturing. We believe the transmission sector presents growth opportunities similar to those we have identified in the engine production arena. By combining ABB's market presence and robotic expertise with Braintech's superior technology and software platform, we are well positioned to respond to the growing demand for 3D vision guidance."
About Braintech, Inc. ( http://www.braintech.com/) -----------------------------------------
Braintech's VGR technologies are revolutionizing manufacturing by giving industrial robots the "eyes" to handle and assemble parts with a high degree of consistent quality and productivity. Braintech's scientific capabilities, engineering expertise and commitment to support are embedded in the Company's VGR software product called "eVF(TM)" and is used to develop, operate and support VGR solutions. To date, Braintech's VGR solutions have been installed at Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Delphi, TI Automotive Group and Toyota.
SC3D, eVF and eVisionFactory are registered trademarks of Braintech Canada, Inc.
Statements in this document (as well as information included in oral statements or other written statements made or to be made by Braintech, Inc.) that are not purely historical are forward-looking statements, including any statements regarding beliefs, plans, expectations or intentions regarding the future. Forward-looking statements in this news release include statements regarding the Company's belief that it has pioneered 3D-Vision Guided Robotics for manufacturers, that 3D-Vision Guided Robotics can address ergonomic and quality control issues, that the ABB/Braintech approach to the marketplace is effective that the transmission sector presents growth opportunities, and that ABB/Braintech are well positioned to respond to the growing demand for 3Dvision guidance. It is important to note that actual outcomes and the Company's actual results could differ materially from those in such forward- looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include risks and uncertainties such as technical difficulties in developing the products; competition from other suppliers of similar products; pricing that may not be acceptable to potential markets; problems with the transport of the products produced; failure for a market to develop for the products; the inability of the Company to finance its obligations under agreements; the failure of the Automotive sector to grow at the rate thought likely; and many other known and unknown factors that affect the technology and automotive industry in general. Readers should also refer to the risk disclosures outlined in the Company's annual report on Form 10-KSB for the 2002 fiscal year and the Company's quarterly reports on Form 10-QSB filed from time to time with the SEC.
For more information, please contact: Braintech, Inc. Jim Dara, VP Sales, GM North American Operations 248-219-9400 / Email Contact or Elite Financial Communications Group Stephanie Noiseux, EVP of Client Relations 407-585-1080 / Email Contact
CONTACT: Braintech, Inc., Jim Dara, VP Sales, GM North American
Operations, (248) 219-9400, Email Contact; or Elite Financial
Communications Group, Stephanie Noiseux, EVP of Client Relations,
(407) 585-1080, Email Contact