Accurate, efficient, fast and brawn are describing words that cross our mind whenever robots and robotics are mentioned. Not so long ago, these were machines that had to be tightly bolted on the floor of a working area or had to work from a caged environment. Many have always known robots to be huge machines that have to be run by a professional programmer and that they have to always be fenced off in order to avoid causing human workers any harm.
The description above is the best fit the old autonomous robots. Innovation and technology have given rise to a new robotic technology known as collaborative robots. They are also referred to as cobots.
Collaborative Robots, an Alternative for Traditional Industrial Robots
Cobots are a series of new generation robots. Compared to industrial robots, they are safer to use, have a more appealing look and are smaller in size. They are more versatile and have a higher flexibility which allows them to take up different tasks as may be required. Their safety makes them easy to incorporate in small working spaces or in the same working environment as humans. Thanks to their small size, they can be moved around or placed on the working benches and so on.
Collaborative Robots Are Causing a Shift in the Manufacturing Industry
Because collaborative robots are able to work in the same environment as humans, they have caused many changes in the manufacturing industries. The changes include;
A Change in Workspace Design
Due to their collaborative nature, cobots need not work in a cage or fenced off environment. They have sensors that enable them to detect human presence and respond accordingly by either slowing down movements or coming to a complete stop. Thanks to this feature, manufacturers are putting up modern designs of their factory floors such that the same working space accommodates the machines and the human employees. Cobots run on sophisticated software that is able to determine the right action to take depending on how close or far a human being is.
Employees of the Organization Are Happier
Employees of an organization feel safer and happier working around collaborative robots than industrial robots. Human employees suffer a feeling of job insecurity whenever automation is mentioned. Because cobots do not seek to replace but rather complement human effort, humans tend to take this technology more positively. The cobot is seen as a member of the team and many employees are comfortable having a co-worker rather than a competitor.
High Performers Want To Work With Collaborative Robots
Manufacturing industries stand to reap greater benefits if they pair collaborative robots with high performers. These are people whose accumulated knowledge comes in handy whenever a problem arises along a production line. Skills of a high performer can be used as a background set up of how a cobot should respond. It’s like imparting the important skills and techniques on the cobot so that it knows how to respond when something fails to work or is required to respond in a certain way.
Thinking Automation? Size Does Not Matter
Automating a production process is becoming less difficult. You can get an industrial robot arm if you want to automate specific stages of the production process. Small and medium production units can buy a few cobots to kick start. Fortunately, they can be used to complete different tasks; all that is required is a change in programming.
Unlike industrial robots, collaborative robots are affordable to acquire and maintain. Programming or reprogramming is easy as they come with an easy-to-follow manual. With the right automation tool in place, manufacturers stand a chance to win the many benefits of automation with the main ones being a reduced cost of production, quick returns on investment and general business growth.
To know the right robot for your production needs, you might need the professional advice of the world’s leading robotic leader Universal Robots. Their team will assess your business needs and advice on the most appropriate automation method.