Robotic systems may be a relatively new concept for some manufacturing sectors, although the technology has been around for decades. By combining traditional production methods with more advanced forms of technology, companies can exponentially increase their production rates and profits.
Robots have greatly improved industrial production, automation is constantly expanding, improving the productivity and success of organizations that decide to adopt it.
Robots, in the majority of cases, are applied to perform repetitive tasks, which simplifies the overall assembly workflow. Robots also collaborate with humans to produce products, especially in tasks that are dangerous or that include the use of materials that can be harmful to human workers.
Even in the short term, operators can get tired or distracted due to the repetitive nature of some tasks, this often leads to errors. Robots, by their nature, completely eliminate this kind of error.
A study by market research firm Vanson Bourne revealed that 23% of unplanned downtime in manufacturing occurs due to human error. This number is particularly relevant when compared to 9% of downtime in other industries. Manufacturing suffers more than most fields when it comes to human error, as it’s not uncommon for a single problem to slow or disrupt an entire assembly line.
These are some of the benefits of using robots in manufacturing:
Over the past decades, these machines have steadily increased in the number of applications and in efficiency. While many see them as modern wonders, robotic manufacturing systems have been around for much longer. Inventor George Devol filed a patent for the first industrial robot in 1954, and the prototype came to life in 1961. It looked and worked much like today’s robotic arms, capable of manipulating 230 kg and performing tasks once believed. impossible for humans.
Now, robots are equipped with numerous features and capabilities that make them unique, flexible and productive to the max. Here, some ways they are evolving:
1. Production with lights off
Light-off manufacturing allows robots to work without any interference. This term is common among factories with few, if any, human workers – machines run the manufacturing process from start to finish. Some manufacturers may find this concept easier to implement than others, but those who integrate it into their operations tend to see a marked improvement in productivity and labor costs. Businesses practicing this strategy may also experience better energy efficiency due to less need for climate control and additional lighting.
2. Internet of Things capabilities
The Internet of Things (IoT) connects physical devices with Internet applications, such as cloud-based software, to make them smarter and more aware of their surroundings. Robotics manufacturers are merging the two by equipping robots with sensors that allow them to read their environment. These tools are used to collect external information. A robot that could predict the impending failure of another machine or inform production managers of its upcoming maintenance schedule would bring innovation on an unprecedented scale.
3. Transformation in information security
The use of artificial intelligence and cloud-connected robotics within the company can make a difference in the challenges with competitors, but it can also make the business more vulnerable to cyber attacks. Increased cybersecurity is a major trend in robotics, and for many good reasons.
The responsibility for safety lies primarily with the robot manufacturer, integrator and operator. Offensive and defensive security, which involves testing vulnerabilities and installing security controls, can safeguard these machines from outside interference. A technique that requires a team approach by integrators and operators.
If you are considering adopting robotic manufacturing systems but don’t know where to start, Whitech can help you in evaluating your goals and achieving them.
Let’s get in touch today for a specific evaluation.