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Top Manufacturing Applications of Collaborative Robots
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The manufacturing process is highly repetitive and monotonous, involving the movement of materials and products from station to station. Many hazardous situations can occur while transporting dangerous chemicals or to people working around moving machinery. As such, it’s essential to remain safe and avoid injuries at all costs, and here is where collaborative robots come in handy.

Collaborative robots can assemble cars, drive vehicles, weld pipes and apply coatings on metal surfaces. In addition, they are helpful in other industries, including food processing and pharmaceutical manufacturing. Here are some top applications for collaborative robots in manufacturing and other industries:

Key Applications of Collaborative Robots in Industries

Collaborative robots are helpful in the manufacturing industry when lifting heavy loads. The mechanical arms of collaborative robots are programmable to lift objects of different weights and dimensions while moving at high speeds. The cobot arms allow them to perform repetitive tasks such as welding in factories or painting on assembly lines.

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Collaborative robots make it possible to perform tasks that would require a large number of workers in manual conditions. In addition, these robots assist in other applications, such as the assembly line of a car factory or the production line in pharmaceutical factories.

Auto industry

The auto industry is dynamic and innovative. Collaborative robots replace humans in repetitive tasks that require high levels of accuracy and precision, such as welding or painting. Collaborative robots in the auto industry ensure workers can spend less time doing monotonous tasks and more time on higher-value and rational activities such as quality control and inspection. Humans can concentrate on guiding robots through a factory floor to identify defects or loading cargo onto ships.

Ship Building Industry

The most common application of collaborative robots is in shipbuilding. The process of building a ship involves a lot of moving parts. For example, cargo ships have considerable cranes to lift heavy materials like steel and aluminum. These cranes require much precision work, best done by collaborative robots.

Aerospace Industry

Collaborative robots in the aerospace industry assist with the assembly of parts and components. For example, collaborative robots can assemble aircraft components such as wings and fuselages. These robots can also perform inspections on aircraft engines and other mechanical parts.

Construction

Collaborative robots in construction perform repetitive tasks such as lifting heavy objects and placing them on another surface. For example, a collaborative robot uses its arms to construct an entire building without safety concerns.

Healthcare Industry

In the medical field, robots help patients during surgeries, such as removing gallbladders or performing cataract surgeries. Robots can also help in other areas of medicine, like radiology and pharmacy.

Education

Collaborative robots in education help children with their math and science lessons. The robot will follow the instructions given by the teacher and carry out all the tasks needed to complete each class effectively.

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Manufacturing

Collaborative robots perform tasks considered unsafe for human workers. For example, they can weld parts, assemble electronics products, or place pieces into injection molds.

Features of Collaborative Robots

The idea behind collaborative robots, or cobots as they are popularly known, is to work alongside humans by having them perform tasks previously reserved for machines alone. Collaborative robots’ design is safe and easy to operate without risk of injury. They have a safety barrier between the user and the robot and do not require safety cages or special operator training. As a result, companies benefit from a more manageable transition towards automation. They are helpful in manufacturing and service industries, such as warehouses and hospitals. In addition, the military may also deploy in dangerous environments like mines or nuclear plants. Therefore, understanding how collaborative robots can benefit your business is paramount.

Incorporating Collaborative Robots in Production Lines

Mobile robots have become the core of many production lines in recent years. They carry out individual tasks and, as team members, complete different tasks together. Incorporating collaborative robots into a production line can give them the ability to interact with humans and other devices on the production line. In addition, collaborative robots can help improve efficiency by performing tasks that human workers cannot do well.

Collaborative robots assist people with disabilities or older people who may have difficulty accessing certain areas of their homes or workplaces. In addition, they can handle emergency response, disaster relief, and search & rescue missions where humans would be unable to operate safely because of hazardous environments.

Benefits of Collaborative Robots

The application of collaborative robots in the manufacturing industry is rapidly skyrocketing. The benefits of collaborative robots to various sectors are clear:

Reduced Costs

Collaborative robots can redeploy workers and reduce the cost of labor by thousands of dollars per machine. In addition, collaborative robots can take up less space and move around freely without any fixed position. They can work on multiple tasks simultaneously, thus reducing the number of workers needed in a production line.

The savings can be more significant when you factor in their additional value, such as increased reliability, higher quality, and faster production rates.

Increased Efficiency

Working in teams with other robots dramatically increases productivity and reduces downtime. In addition, collaboration robots can save production time by avoiding errors or delays due to human interactions during production processes.

Reduced Workplace Risks

Robots are more predictable than humans so they can work 24/7 without the risk of injury or fatigue caused by human error. Collaborative robots can perform tasks that are difficult or dangerous for humans, such as handling heavy loads or working at high speeds. You can program collaborative robots to complete specific tasks without extensive programming by an expert programmer or engineer.

Accuracy in Production

Cobots’ positioning accuracy is much better than that of humans because they only need to perform a limited set of movements and do not have to worry about fatigue or environmental factors such as heat and cold. As a result, they can achieve more accurate exercises with high precision and yield better results with less energy consumption.

Conclusion

With developments in robotics technology, it is now possible to procure collaborative robots for various businesses, whether large or small. Collaborative robots are making an impact on our everyday lives with surprising results. There are several advantages of integrating them in the workplace through inventory management and productivity.

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Collaborative robots are already making waves in the hospitality and healthcare industries, and their applications are just beginning to take shape in agriculture. Collaborative robots take away the problems associated with human labor, including benefits, recruitment, insurance, and wages. Each cobot you deploy will pay for itself in the long run.

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Author

Synthia Rozario
Synthia Rozario
An editorial staff member at The Eastern Herald. Formerly, correspondent of The Eastern Express, Hong Kong.

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