Applications of Collaborative Robots in Manufacturing

The manufacturing sector has looked to robots to help automate their processes. In the last few years, the phenomenon of collaborative robots has grown and they can now be found in diverse manufacturing entities.

Sectors such as agriculture, healthcare, food and beverage industry which were not traditionally known for investing in robots are some of the leading sectors in adoption of the collaborative robots.

Sectors that are traditionally known for accepting robots early such as aviation and automotive manufacturing are enjoying the presence of collaborative robots in their factories as they have revolutionized the way they conduct they business.

With the advancements of technology, robots can now be applied to a range of tasks in the factory floor.  Technological advancements have enhanced the capabilities of robots ensuring that they can take over highly advanced tasks such as inspections.

In addition, the robots have become smaller and more factory floor friendly. They are now collaborative and work, not caged in separate buildings but with their human colleagues.  This leads to the name collaborative robots that is given to them.

Collaborative robots, as a result of technology are highly capable manufacturing robots and are applied in a myriad of tasks on the factory floor. Listed, are some of the tasks where robots are applied in the modern factory floor.

Welding

Welding is one of the most common jobs in most manufacturing entities. Car manufacturers, plane manufacturers, equipment and electronics manufacturers are some of the manufacturers who have welding as a core task in their operations.

Welding is one of the tasks that can now be easily automated and left to the collaborative robots to handle. With their current technological capabilities, collaborative robots are easy to teach repetitive tasks such as welding. Fortunately, the robot will never get bored and lose focus. As a result, it will always carry out perfect welding work.

Collaborative robots can be taught these tasks by easy programming where they are issued with instruction or manually where they are taught how to carry out these tasks by following the actual process and then saving it in its memory for easier remembrance.

Material handling

Material handling is a combination of several tasks. On the factory floor, for example an auto manufacturer has a lot of components and materials for different parts of the car, their final product. Depending on the location of the robot, it can easily be assigned tasks to select the appropriate parts or materials required to be prepared for that stage. For example, if the robot is stationed in the part of the factory that makes the front part of the car, it is able through sensors and vision capabilities to select the correct raw material and work on it by shaping it to fit the shape of the front of the car.

Packing

Collaborative manufacturing robots can also be assigned to packing tasks. This is another monotonous task that robots can be assigned to help ease the burden of repetitive tasks on the human employees.  With proper programming and the appropriate end of arm effectors, robots are able to pick out objects from the production line and place them in boxes ready for packing and shipping.

Quality inspections

This is another area of manufacturing that is increasingly being taken over by robots. Robots have high levels of accuracy and precision. As a result, they are able to produce materials with minimal defects. By increasing the capabilities of the robots in the factory, they can also be used to check how well a product has been made. With the increasing intelligence levels, robots can now tell when a step in the production process is being done wrongly and help make the necessary rectifications for a high quality finished product.

With their vision sensors, robots can easily identify a defective end products and sort them from the high quality products ready for packing and shipping to the market. This ensures that companies sell only the high quality products.