In the quest for product quality and efficient production, companies turn to modern technology, using state-of-the-art equipment in their manufacturing lines. Arising from all these is an attempt to improve customer experience by meeting consumer demands on quality products. As a result, a collaborative robot is becoming an indispensable asset due to its flexibility and ability to handle various applications.
Robotic technology has been slowly but surely making headway into our lives for several years, and today, collaborative robots are enjoying increasing popularity and acceptance in many industries. As a manufacturer or small business owner, you want a cobot that improves your product creation processes. In addition, a collaborative robot offers a higher level of flexibility and safety than traditional robots.
How a Collaborative Robot Works
A collaborative robot employs safe robotic arms to perform repetitive tasks while maintaining safety around humans. For example, they have sensors that instruct them to instantly stop when they get too close to any object, making them suitable for working directly with humans without installing physical barriers such as cages or fences.
A collaborative robot operates through an intuitive touchscreen device that creates its path in the workspace. The essence of a collaborative robot is to automate a manufacturing line in which humans and robots share the workspace while learning from each other. A collaborative robot has simple programming modules that even a novice can handle. It is flexible enough to handle various tasks by fitting into a specific job or product line, making it valuable in manufacturing.,
Key Features of a Collaborative Robot
Collaborative robots are easy to program and redeploy for different tasks, allowing for increased flexibility and adaptability compared to fixed automation solutions. Collaborative robots come in many sizes and shapes and can carry out many applications, including assembly, pick and place, screw driving, palletizing, etc.
Cobots are lightweight and can quickly move around different sections and for different applications.
Ease of Use
Collaborative robots come with safety features making them safe to work with humans. In addition, their sensors make them safe to work alongside. For example, the sensors will instruct a robot to stop when it strays close to human workers.
Degrees of movement
You can program the robot to immediately stop when it senses any contact in its working space. In addition, the collaborative robot’s six axes of motion and sensors make it possible for human workers to work side by side without the need for extra safety precautions.
Essential Components That Define Collaborative Robots
The robot arm allows cobots to move and perform various assigned tasks. You can select from various robot arm sizes depending on the application and space constraints you have in the workspace. Safety System The safety system monitors the robot in real-time and shuts it down if there’s an issue in its actions. That issue can be someone bumping into it or a malfunction.
End effectors are tools that attach to the robot arm of a collaborative robot and allow it to perform various tasks. For example, if you want your cobot to palletize or package products at high speeds, you need an end effector that lets it quickly pick up products of different shapes and sizes and place them at precise locations.
The controller acts as the computer brain that powers the robot. It tells the robot how to move, how fast, and what positions to assume.
Benefits of Deploying Collaborative Robot in Manufacturing
A collaborative robot helps you to manage tasks and help your business grow through the following ways:
Optimize Product Quality
A collaborative robot uses a robotic manipulator to perform tasks with precision and repeatability, thus providing an ideal solution for automating quality control procedures. As a result, a collaborative robot delivers consistent quality standards across all products in the production line. In addition, it helps identify defective products before packaging.
In addition, collaborative robots can efficiently analyze end product quality and make adjustments to improve the end-user experience. For example, a packaging robot inspects a product for defects and adjusts its packaging method in real-time to better protect the product from damage in transit to the customer.
Automate With Confidence
Collaborative robots are easy to program, re-program, and redeploy for new tasks. Once a collaborative robot starts on a job, it becomes easy to re-program it to carry out the same task. Collaborative robots are agile and can work alongside human operators, making them perfect to deploy in changing environments involving repetitive picking and placing tasks.
Reduce setup time Collaborative robots are easy to install and program, making them ideal for small and medium businesses. In addition, they can operate alongside humans without safety drawbacks, thus providing a more effective way to sustain quality production at a fair cost.
Increase Efficiency in Production
Collaborative robots can take over many monotonous and repetitive tasks and frees up those workers to tackle more complex projects. The arrangement leads to an increase in productivity overall.
Lower Costs & Improve Profits
The flexibility of a collaborative robot saves costs by cutting expenses on protective equipment and other safety measures. In addition, a collaborative robot releases workers to deal with strategic roles of problem-solving and decision-making. Collaborative robot technology reduces employee turnover and helps companies avoid the cost of hiring and retraining new personnel.
Since employees do not need specialized training on how to interact and operate a collaborative robot, they can start work right after the robot’s procurement, thus saving training costs while increasing productivity.
Applications of Collaborative Robot in Diverse Industrial Sectors
Collaborative robots are currently making strides in several industries, including automotive, pharmaceuticals, plastics, education, electronics, cosmetics, metal, aerospace, and food and beverages industries.
Automotive application is exhibiting fast growth owing to the increasing adoption of robots for welding, material handling, product inspection, machining, and packaging. In addition, growing automation in the electrical & electronics industry plays a paramount role in boosting the collaborative robot market.
Collaborative robots provide opportunities to expand automation applications into several diverse industries. A collaborative robot can perform anything from basic tasks to complex operations.
Below are diverse industrial applications where a collaborative robot thrives:
You can find a collaborative robot welding, painting, and dispensing chemicals in automotive plants while performing intricate assembly work in electronics production facilities.
Material handling through robots is rife in sectors such as food processing, pharmaceuticals, plastics, and electronics, where contamination may occur.
Many manufacturers are looking for ways to automate assembly tasks with collaborative robots. Assembly involves automating general assembly operations such as screwdriving, testing, and gluing.
How Collaborative Robot Guarantees Quality Products
The reason why collaborative robots guarantee better quality products is that they are exact, autonomous, and intelligent machines. Cobots are so precise that they carry out the same task repeatedly with the same accuracy every time. They are also autonomous machines that do not require human input to perform tasks, meaning there is no risk of human error.
Here are ways collaborative robots guarantee quality products:
- Collaborative robots operate consistently within tight tolerance levels
- Robots operate with precision at high speeds
- Robots continuously monitor the quality of a product and can stop production if an error occurs
- Work in harmony with humans
- Inspecting products
- Loading materials Packing items into boxes.
In the manufacturing industry, creating a high-quality end product is the lifeline for your business as quality products bring loyal customers to your brand and maximum profits. Gaining a competitive advantage over your competitors is always a challenge, but you get a head start in quality over the other brands in your industry with a collaborative robot.
With a collaborative robot, it’s easy to switch between multiple tasks to meet your production demands more effectively. As a result, the popularity of robot automation systems continues to grow as manufacturers seek to reduce costs and maximize efficiency while improving product quality.
Collaborative robots with their ability to maintain constant precision levels focus on repetitive tasks while monitoring the outcome and quality of the product.