BMI Automation Inc.

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Thursday, a local company continued an innovative program with the unveiling of a robotic system. However, this system won't be used in the United States or even on this continent.

It’s the fourth robotic steel processing system ever made by Dothan-based BMI Automation, and it looks to bring many benefits to the Wiregrass.

The machine uses multiple nozzles, which pour a steel-mix into a 60,000-pound tundish, which looks a lot like a trough.

President of BMI, Henry Burns said, "This sprays a coating inside a tundish. A tundish is used to distribute the steel and continues casting build. You've seen the big laddles, they pour the laddles into this, called a tundish and then it has nozzles in the bottom of it, [which] puts it in different lines where they're casting material."

This system of robots uses two different automated control systems which all run simultaneously.

A computer is used to control the mixer, and another system to control spraying patterns.

Combined, a total of four individual systems operate this machine.

Control Engineer Hubert Burns said, "We have to go with a system like this because they need the flexibility to change what they're actually doing and we needed the five-axis controls. So, like when you saw us spraying out there, we did the corners and all, you could actually see five-axis of movement in those corners."

This new automated machine won't be used in the U.S. but by an overseas company.

However, the Wiregrass' economy is still benefiting, since supplies and parts for the automated system come from local companies.

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