Automation has been a significant factor in the growth and advancement of industry. Robots have been in the frontline of automation for most manufacturing entities and it is sure looking like they will run the factory of the future. As automation grows, it has deprived products of the human touch. To counter this trend, collaborative robots also known as cobots have been developed to bring back the human touch to the manufacturing process.
As with traditional robots, cobots also produce high quality products. Cobots also possess other features that set them apart from the traditional robots.
As their name suggests, collaborative robots work alongside human staff. Traditional robots need to be kept on their own and human staff are advised to stay away from those robots unless they are the designated maintenance staff.
Cobots partner with human staff in the accomplishment of production goals. They can be set up alongside a conveyor belt and pick up products moving along it and place in a box or pallet. They can do this with human staff right next to them unlike traditional robots.
Cobots are created to be safe around human staff. Cobots are responsive to human presence. When a cobot is in operation and senses a human staff near it, it stops working until they are out of its working space. This ability is what makes it a collaborative robot.
Increased safety in the workplace ensures that staff concentrate on the work at hand knowing that they are around safe robots. Also cobots can be deployed to tasks that are inherently risky for human staff such as heavy lifting and working in extreme environments such as cold rooms or in high temperatures.
The price of automation for any manufacturing entity is quite high. For traditional robots, it involves rearranging the existing process and setting up a large space where the robots will work from. On the other hand cobots are quite affordable compared to traditional robots.
Cobots can be put to work immediately after acquiring it. All it needs is fast assembly and easy programing to receive instructions. Cobots enhance whichever process they are tasked with for increased productivity and often their payback time is in one year.
Unlike traditional robots, cobots are very adaptable. A manufacturing entity can acquire a cobot for a specific production process. Once it streamlines the production process, an organization can apply the cobot to other tasks.
To reassign a cobot, to other tasks is quite easy. Cobots are light and mobile and can be moved around the factory to complete other tasks in different locations. Also, robot arms can be retooled for the cobot to accomplish other tasks successfully.
Cobots can be easily taught how to perform tasks in the factory floor. They are taught this in various ways. One, they can be programed to receive instructions on how to perform tasks. Distributors of the cobots teach their clients how to program the cobots.
Secondly, cobots can be taught tasks manually. A factory worker can hold the cobot by hand and show it the necessary movements it needs to make to complete a tasks and the cobot will repeat the movements as taught.
Cobots are quite easy to use. Once a company acquires a cobot, they are trained on how to use once it is assembled on their factory floor. After training, any factory employee is able to use the cobot to accomplish whichever tasks allocated to it.
Also, it is easy to program the cobot. Factory workers can easily program new instructions to the cobot. This saves the factory the costs of having to hire a specialized cobot’s programmer.
Compared to any other form of automation, cobots are assembled easily and faster on the factory floor. Cobot distributors promise and ensure that their clients do not spend more than one day in assembling their cobots and getting to work.