Manufacturing and robotics have natural partnerships. Robots play a key role in the current manufacturing landscape. Machine-driven manufacturing solutions are a must-have in any operation aiming to obtain efficiency and safety.
Robots used in manufacturing, automate iterative tasks and reduce the margins of error. Moreover, robotics allow human employees to put their efforts into other productive operation areas. Manufacturing robots that are also fully autonomous offer unparalleled accuracy, speed, and durability.
Robots that are used in manufacturing firms give companies a competitive edge globally—owing to their viable alternativeness and efficiency. This is what lays the great foundation for success and growth.
More Reasons why robotics are used in Manufacturing
- Manufacturing robots create efficiencies starting from handling raw materials to the packing of finished products.
- Robots are programmable to operate round-the-clock and in situations where the lights are not on and still give perfect precision.
- Robots are made to be quite flexible. They can also be customized to perform complex production operations.
- Robotics give companies a competitive edge and that explains why robots are now used in manufacturing plants on large scale.
- Automation is cost-effective in the long run. Thus, it is suitable for companies of all sizes even small shops.
Do robots create Job Losses?
Robots should never be accused of creating joblessness. On the contrary, they have been created in such a way that they work hand-in-hand with human employees. Here are other proofs showing that robots aren’t taking human-workforce jobs:
- Most labor markets experience offshoring thereby reducing the number of skilled workers available to work in manufacturing firms. Robots are used to eliminate this shortfall.
- Robots make it possible for companies to maximize their worker’s skills by freeing them from tasks that robots can perform. That way, their skills are used in other areas.
- Workers get freed from dangerous and mundane tasks and so, create desirable jobs like equipment maintenance, management, programming, and engineering.
- Manufacturing robots reshore manufacturing work thus creating jobs.
How robots are used in manufacturing
As earlier mentioned, throughout manufacturing, robots have had niches in different areas that need consistency and precision.
So, how are robots used in manufacturing?
- Handling of materials. Nowadays, robots are used to handle many different materials as compared to when they were first used in manufacturing. Many materials and products that require caution when handling or steadiness are handled by robots. When handled by humans, such materials tend to be at risk of contamination.
The fact that robots never make any mistakes also helps to reduce the risks of at-work-injury for humans.
- In welding. Metals are joined together using pressure and heat. This I a very dangerous operation that calls for exact precision. A small mistake could cause serious injury, ruin metal, and even disrupt that day’s production process.
That is why robots are used in welding nowadays. That way, there are zero injuries and disruption of workflow.
- In assembly. Assembling product parts like that of cars can be a repetitive and tedious process. Any human being would eventually lose morale and have a judgment lapse. That is why such jobs are taken over by robots. What’s more, using robots will also allow humans to focus on quality instead of quantity.
- Dispensing. Processes that call for the application of sprays, paint, and glue, robots are a preferred choice. This is also an example of repetitive jobs which need precision and high quality. So, who better to do it than robots?
- Processing. Some products undergo different processing phases. For example, sawing, polishing, and carving before releasing. Such jobs are carried out by robots that have different degrees of autonomy. That is, depending on the complexity level of the job at hand and the robot’s capability.
Evolution of Robots in manufacturing
The history of manufacturing with robots is an expansive one. Their use has increased in the last couple of years and so has their efficiency and number of uses. Even though many people still view them as being modern marvels, manufacturing robots have been around for some time.
Nowadays, robots have gained senses like vision and touch. Innovations that gave robots these abilities enhanced robotic capabilities. Thus making it possible for robots to accomplish things they previously couldn’t.
- Touch: This sense comes in handy especially in recycling facilities where they have to separate after identifying waste based on texture. Visual capabilities make robots more adept when it comes to refusing to sort as compared to their human counterparts. MIT created a robot that can predict the item or part it’s touching solely based on tactile input.
- Sight: Some robots have LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) sensors. These sensors make it possible for these robots to judge distance using laser reflections. LiDAR senses can be compared to echolocation that is found in animals such as dolphins and bats. For example, FedEx has SameDay Bots that can navigate around objects and people using LiDAR.
- Hearing: Just like echolocation and LiDAR technology, laser vibrometry is a technology that can detect vibrations. As such, robots can hear basic conversations and sounds. Even though this technology is more commonly used in smart devices, chances are you might see it soon in manufacturing robots.
The future of manufacturing robots
Here’s a glimpse of how manufacturing robots will look like:
- Lights-out. This makes it possible for robots to work without any interference and the companies that have used it reported a slight improvement in their energy efficiency.
- Internet of things (IoT). IoT connects internet applications with physical devices thereby making the apps more aware of their environment. When robots are equipped with sensors, they can pick up data like visual and tactical input. This data allows the bots to make informed decisions about their next move.
When you employ AI (artificial intelligence) with your business will see you go further than your competitors.
If robots are to be useful to your company and its growth, you need to employ proper security measures. This involves testing all vulnerabilities and putting up protective controls. That way, the roots will be safe from outside interference.
- The Correlation Between Robotics and Manufacturing - November 4, 2021