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Baxter Sparks Innovation and Improves Workforce Flexibility at Schneider Electric Facility

Boston, October 16, 2014 Schneider Electric, a global leader in energy management, has taken the next step forward in optimizing its manufacturing processes, adding Rethink Robotics’ Baxter to its workforce as a critical part of the assembly line.

Baxter is testing circuit breakers at two work stations in Schneider’s Missouri plant, moving and orienting parts from the assembly line into testing cells and triggering the testing process. Baxter is working directly alongside production associates to audit product quality for industrial and OEM applications.

“Baxter gives us flexibility with automation that we’ve never had before, being able to take on new tasks and excelling at them,” said Bill Smith, senior manufacturing engineer at Schneider Electric. “Now we’re starting to see our test equipment designers and production associates  look at Baxter and say, ‘How can we make this even better?’ by using the robot in exciting new ways.”

At Schneider’s Missouri plant equipment development lab, the company is also testing Baxter on a series of innovative trial applications, looking for new ways to integrate the versatile collaborative robot into future operations.

Smith added that the 250-person plant has often suffered from downtime when integrating traditional, fixed automation into their production lines. Baxter has greatly reduced this issue through its ability to be deployed in a fraction of the time of its industrial counterparts.

“For world-class manufacturers like Schneider Electric, Baxter is more than just an immediate solution to an existing problem – it’s allowing the teams to think about new ways of capitalizing on this next-generation technology to meet future needs,”  said Jim Lawton, CMO of Rethink Robotics. “With Baxter, manufacturers can be solving problems on their production lines today, while designing specialized applications in R&D labs for even more significant innovations down the road.”

For more information, please visit www.rethinkrobotics.com.

About Rethink Robotics

Rethink Robotics, Inc. helps manufacturers meet the challenges of an agile economy with an integrated workforce, combining trainable, safe and cost-effective robots with skilled labor. Its Baxter robot, driven by Intera, an advanced software platform, gives world-class manufacturers and distributors in automotive, plastics, consumer goods, electronics and more, a workforce multiplier that optimizes labor. With Rethink Robotics, manufacturers increase flexibility, lower costs and can invest in skilled labor—all advantages in fueling continuous innovation and sustainable competitive advantage.

Committed to accelerating robotics innovation in manufacturing and beyond, Rethink Robotics’ Baxter Research Robot gives academic and corporate research environments a humanoid robot platform with integrated sensors and an open software development kit for creating custom applications.

Based in Boston, Massachusetts, the company is funded by Bezos Expeditions, Charles River Ventures, Highland Capital Partners, Sigma Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and Two Sigma Ventures. For more information about Rethink Robotics, please visit www.rethinkrobotics.com