Robotics and automation isn’t new in the world of manufacturing, but the world of collaborative robots, or Cobots, are quickly gaining traction as the future of the industry. Robots are highly desired to carry out the tasks often referred to as the Four “D’s”: Dirty, Dangerous, Dear, or Dull.
While robots are essential within manufacturing, they’re often kept separate from people for protection. Cobots are different from industrial robots in many ways but the most important is that they’re designed to be able to work alongside humans, sharing a common workspace. This solves the issue of constraining robots, therefore restricting their efficiency.
Companies that look to increase their automation without requiring more physical labor look to these collaborative robotic solutions.
Cobots are surrounded by safety measures to protect workers and are secured in one place due to a shared workspace. Often these collaborative robots do work such as welding, spray painting, drilling, and other tedious assembly tasks. Cobots make automation easier than ever for businesses of all sizes.
Advantages of Collaborative Robots
Cobots are smaller and lighter than industrial robots making them a more compact solution for assembly needs.
Cobots have a wide range of safety features so they can work alongside people without risk and without safety fencing. They are secured in one space with major safety capabilities to protect workers. Four major safety aspects that these collaborative robots carry are safety monitored stops, speed and separation monitoring, power and force limiting, and hand guiding for programming. While emergency stop buttons can be found on these machines, the robot arms will stop just by moving your hand.
Using Cobots to carry out repetitive work reduces strain on employees, allowing them to perform other tasks such as inspections. Using collaborative robots also lessens the loads employees have to physically move. Collaborative robots can move between 10 – 35 kg, far greater the amount than the average human.
Collaborative robots can reduce errors causing more consistent quality. Good programming is essential for this aspect. Once a program is implemented – they will continue to work along the same route using the same force every day.
Cobots aim to assist the workforce, lessen the load on employees, and help bridge the gap between humans and automation. Companies who view the adoption of Cobots as assistance and not employee replacement tend to garner more faith with their workforce.
Learn more about Cobots, automation, and assembly by attending WESTEC.