The manufacturing industry has always been one of the first ones to adopt modern technology and new inventions through time. The impact that robotics has had in the manufacturing industry so far has been tremendous, to say the least. Do you also think that Robotics and Manufacturing are made for each other? If you’re not convinced yet I suggest you give this article a read and perhaps you’ll change your view on it.
Robotics is an emerging field that combines robots with computer-aided design/manufacturing. The combination allows manufacturers to create more complex products than ever before by using CAD software to develop 3D models of objects or assemblies. These designs are then sent to machines with robotic arms that perform all the physical work required to build them. This process eliminates many manual tasks from the assembly process while increasing productivity and quality control.
Industrial robots are becoming increasingly more popular among manufacturers around the world. That’s totally natural since robotics brings to the table a lot of benefits for organizations but there’s the human jobs dilemma. Which is that a lot of people feel like the machines are going to take jobs away from people. This movement has a lot of traction with protests and rebellions around the world have made their voices heard.
On the other side of this dilemma are those who defend the robotics industry and actually think this is the way to advance forward. They believe that having robots do mindless tasks is going to push the humans to work harder and learn how to be an engineer of said robot for example. In the grand scheme of things, they explain every detail as to why this is for the greater good. Having fewer jobs that require a lower level of professionalism is going to push people to become better.
Anyway, robotics has helped manufacturing become more efficient and scalable with lower costs and fewer mistakes along the way. It’s a revolution that’s maybe too early for some people but the other side that sees the benefits in it believes this is the turning point for the production industry. When fabrics become fully autonomous that’s when we have peaked in terms of production.
Invented in Japan during the 1960s, industrial robots were originally used to automate repetitive factory processes such as welding, painting, assembling, etc. Their use was limited because these types of applications didn’t need much precision. However, over the years, advancements in electronics and computing power allowed engineers to make improvements to existing technologies. Today, most industrial robots can move at speeds up to 1 meter per second and lift loads weighing hundreds of pounds.
Over 30,000 different kinds of robots exist today. Some robots cost thousands of dollars and others only tens of cents. Most robots fall into two categories: programmable and nonprogrammable. Programmable robots allow users to write programs directly onto their controller which makes programming easier. Nonprogrammable robots require no user intervention and just follow prewritten instructions.
A common misconception about robots is that they must be programmed beforehand. There are currently three ways to program a robot; via hardware interface, machine language, and procedural languages. Each method comes with pros and cons depending on what type of application the robot needs to run.
Hardware interfaces enable programmers to send signals to motors, sensors, lights, etc.
Machine code enables developers to tell computers exactly what actions to execute without any limitations.
Finally, procedural languages provide flexibility for developers to define behaviors based on variables, constants, loops, functions, etc. Although both hardware interfaces and machine codes aren’t very intuitive to understand, procedural languages are fairly easy to manipulate.
Types of Industrial Robots
There are several types of robots available to help in various industries. Depending on where you want to implement a particular solution will determine which kind of robot would best fit your requirements. Here are some examples of the four main types of robots found in the market today: Cartesian, Articulated Arm, Parallel Kinematic, and Hybrid.
Cartesian Robots are frequently used for industrial applications such as 3D printing and CNC machining.
Articulated Arm Robots, as the name suggests are robots that have rotary joints and increased movement. They are used for a lot of different tasks that require precise movement.
Parallel Kinematic Robots are used for assembly tasks because of their structure and handling.
Hybrid Robots are a combination of different systems that work with each other to perform locomotion.
The Benefits of Robotics in the Manufacturing Industry
Industrial robots are here to help us do things faster and better – like increase throughput and improve quality while reducing human labor costs. These machines can also significantly reduce our environmental impact through increased productivity and efficiency. In fact, if you look at the history of the automotive industry alone, you’ll see how important robotic technology really is.
For instance, Henry Ford perfected his assembly line system using manual workers who had been trained to work together in perfect synchronization. Once automated, however, the process became so fast that the line could produce cars twice as many each day. This made mass production possible and soon after, the car industry began booming!
So why not adopt similar strategies to manufacture products now? And since there are already millions of industrial robots out there waiting to help us build stuff. Let’s take a closer look at 5 reasons why robots are becoming indispensable tools in manufacturing facilities around the world.
When it comes to running effective business operations, one thing is clear: time matters. If you’re constantly wasting hours doing tasks that don’t add value then you might find yourself stuck sooner rather than later. But thanks to modern advances in robotics, operators can quickly transform factories into productive places by automating certain jobs. That means less hands-on time spent overseeing employees, letting everyone else focus on higher-level responsibilities. Now that’s something worth applauding!
How Does Robotics Help Manufacturing?
Manufacturing has always required high levels of precision and accuracy when assembling parts and components. While this was once achieved manually with great difficulty and expense, automation allows companies to achieve these goals much quicker and cheaper.
For example, we’ve seen the rise of computer numerical control, which uses computers instead of humans to perform complex machining processes such as milling, drilling, turning, grinding, cutting, welding, and other related activities.
CNC mills use motors controlled via software programs designed specifically for their purpose. They require little training and have no moving parts. As a result, they cut metal efficiently and effectively, producing consistent results every single time.
Robots Are Capable of A Lot More Than Just Milling Parts
Of course, just because a robot does what a person used to be able to do doesn’t mean it should replace them completely. Some manufacturers still need people to operate machinery safely and correctly. However, even those positions can often be replaced entirely by intelligent devices. To name a few examples:
- Machine tool tending – An operator must keep track of multiple pieces of equipment and ensure proper alignment between all of them. With advanced sensors and controls, a robot can automatically adjust positioning while remaining safe.
- Material removal – Cutting materials requires precise skills. However, most material needs to be removed without damaging surrounding areas. It’s relatively simple to automate this job but hard to make sure everything goes smoothly. So, let a robot remove unwanted bits.
In this article, we talked a lot about robotics in manufacturing and why they are a perfect combination with each other. It’s important we accept changes and integrate the new technology into our lives. That’s why robotics should be mixed even more into our industries so that we can get more from what we are producing with fewer costs and human resources.
Let’s recap some of the main points of this article.
- Industrial robots are becoming increasingly more popular among manufacturers around the world.
- Invented in Japan during the 1960s, industrial robots were originally used to automate repetitive factory processes such as welding, painting, assembling, etc.
- Over 30,000 different kinds of robots exist today.
- The four main types of robots found in the market today: Cartesian, Articulated Arm, Parallel Kinematic, and Hybrid.
- Industrial robots are here to help us do things faster and better – like increase throughput and improve quality while reducing human labor costs.
With that being said I believe this article comes to an end, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to leave a comment.