Just a few decades ago, industrial robots were considered a bit too space age for industry owners. Some have even claimed that robots were unreliable and too expensive to use in factories.
Fast forward to 2020, and you’ll see that a good number of industries use industrial robots in their operations. Some manufacturers though still remain adamant that industrial robots won’t be able to do key functions that human factory workers can do. Little do they know that industrial robots have progressed through the years. Here are 7 Industrial robot applications that manufacturers should know about.
Assembly lines are an industrial robot’s bread and butter. When industrial robots were first created, the inventors had this specific application in mind. Robots are perfect for assembly line operations because they can assemble complex products with unerring speed.
When the assembly lines were first invented during the first parts of the Industrial Age, thousands of people were hired to work them. This was a good system during the time, but in the past century, there have been many innovations in the manufacturing process.
One such innovation is the industrial robot. These types of robots have the necessary features to improve the assembly line. Workwise, industrial robots are incredibly precise and have a very high work rate. Human workers need to take coffee and lunch breaks, which in turn takes time and productivity from the company. Robots, on the other hand, can work for hours on end without any need for breaks or days off. They can sustain this work process without any signs of fatigue, and their work will stay consistent and up to standards from the first to the last hour of the workday.
Material handling is one of the key work processes of a manufacturing plant. This is the process of moving material within the factory. This may seem like a small task, but remember that most manufacturing plants move tonnes of material every day.
The assembly lines need these materials to be delivered and set in place in order for the work to begin, and everything needs to be as efficient as possible. This is where industrial robots come in very handy.
Most industrial robots can be converted to fulfill this specific task. These modified robots can move tonnes of the material with incredible speed and efficiency. Some of the products can also be toxic or hazardous to humans, so using industrial robots for material handling is a great safety precaution.
Welding operations can be dangerous for human workers. Sparks fly in the air during the welding process, and there is a great risk of getting burned even for experienced and skilled workers. However, this task poses no threat to industrial robots.
Whether you choose a mechanical robot arm or even the more advanced collaborative robots, the welding process is still a very simple and safe process for them. They are also built with added articulation. This gives them inhuman flexibility that allows them to reach hard-to-reach places.
Whether you are drilling a hole through a metal sheet or the concrete floor, it still takes a great deal of arm strength and endurance to do properly. Most drilling equipment is very heavy and clunky.
They also have a great deal of recoil that makes them hard to control. As a whole, it takes a lot of effort and training to do it properly. Industrial robots can be customized for this specific function. Drilling robots are precise and fast and can drill with minimum fuss and effort. They never experience fatigue or have any trouble with recoil, which makes the drilling process a lot easier and injury-free.
Pick and Placing
The picking automation is very work-intensive and precise. It is particularly important in the electrical industry because there are many small parts that need to be placed and screwed on just right.
Human workers tend to struggle with this job because they lack the needed dexterity to work with such small parts. Most industrial robot companies offer industrial robots with the pick and place features. These specialized robots are extremely fast and accurate and don’t require any special training to do the job perfectly.
Mechanical cutting is a difficult and dangerous job. It entails cutting through thick sheets of metal and forming them into specific shapes and sizes. This is especially common in the automobile industry. Specialized tools and training are needed for a human worker to do it properly.
There can also be a chance for accidents to occur because humans are not infallible and can get careless or tired. Industrial robots are not prone to such mistakes and can carry out their task with unerring accuracy and speed. They can be outfitted with hacksaws and laser cutters and will produce consistent and superior results.
Painting is a particularly simple task and can be done by anyone. It is easy to spray paint a wall or a large surface. It is a totally different thing to paint products in an assembly line. Remember that assembly lines move very fast, and painting requires great concentration, accuracy, and a steady hand.
No matter how good or experienced a human worker is, he or she is still prone to human error. The worker may be having a bad day or got distracted by something during the work process. This means the process needs to be done again. Industrial robots don’t suffer from mental lapses. They work with mechanical efficiency and can paint with incredible precision.
If your company has worked with human workers for years, it is understandable why you are hesitant to transition to industrial robots.
Change can seem drastic and scary, but now that you know how efficient robots are, you should really think about automation in your manufacturing operations.