With the growing popularity and increased usage of collaborative robots in industry, many tasks that were previously manual are increasingly being automated.
Collaborative robots, unlike traditional robots work alongside human factory workers. Traditional robots on the other hand work while caged away from human workers and concentrate on a single activity. Collaborative robots possess inherent features that enhance their usage in robotic assembly and thus allow them to capably perform multiple functions in the factory.
One of this inherent feature is their capacity to learn how to perform a production process fast. All a cobot needs to learn how to perform a process is some programming to feed it with instructions to complete the process. Also, it can be manually involved in the process or left to observe as the process is being completed and learn by practicing what it has observed.
With this ability to learn, cobots have becoming indispensable in the robot assembly process as they can now be assigned multiple tasks leading to enhanced efficiency and effectiveness to the assembly process.
Listed are some of the tasks that cobots can perform in a factory.
Quality checks and inspection
Cobots have the capacity to check and inspect end product quality before it is packed and made ready for sale or shipping to customers. They gain this capability by affixing to them an aperture that provides the cobot with capacity for vision.
In addition to vision, the cobot need to be able to hold the object or product that it is inspecting. This is does through other end of arm fixtures that provide it with the capacity to grasp and turn objects around.
It is then fed with the appropriate dimensions and shape of the final product. When that product is brought to its working space, it is able to compare the product to the given ideal dimensions and shape. Those products that meet the ideal shape and dimensions are kept separately from those that do not. Therefore, the cobot then enhances the quality of products coming from the assembly process.
Unsafe, dangerous and monotonous tasks
In addition to production efficiency, cobots also enhancement the factory working conditions. Cobots can be easily assigned tasks that could cause harm to the human employees. Companies that manufacture chemicals that are harmful to human health can assign the handling of chemicals to the cobots thus eliminating risk of harm from their employees.
In addition, there are tasks that are boring and repetitive in the factory setting. Pick and place tasks and others like them are boring and often eat away at the motivation of the factory’s employees. Such tasks can be assigned to cobots leading those who previously performed these tasks to other tasks that will be more engaging.
Tasks that require high levels of precision and accuracy
Collaborative robots help factories enhance the quality levels of their products. As robots, cobots are highly accurate and thus they reduce much of the waste which occurs as a result of human error.
Tasks that require high levels of precision can be assigned to cobots. This feature of cobots enables factories to reduce their losses by eliminating wastage and defective products.
As a result factories are able to produce more and grow their bottom lines as all their products are of high quality and there is minimal wastage of material in the production process.
With the range of tasks that collaborative robots can carry out and the number of tasks within different factories, it is easy to see why cobots are gaining a foothold in robot assembly.
Factories that have already adopted the use of cobots have enjoyed the benefits of increased production, highly motivated employees and even an increase in the quality of their products. These benefits of cobot application to tasks enables factories to make increased savings in production costs and increase their sales and as a result, their profits.