The modern and user-friendly generation of robots, called collaborative robots (cobots), prove to be safe, efficient, and relatively affordable. Over 50,000 cobots from Universal Robots are currently used in various manufacturing environments worldwide.
Their capacity to provide the necessary flexibility and financial return to enable firms to compete and succeed in their market environments is the primary factor behind their quick acceptance and assimilation into the market.
Five Additional Advantages of Collaborative Robots
The cobots from Universal Robots include safety measures that enable them to work among humans, in contrast to earlier industrial robots that had to be fitted with physical barriers and controlled from behind safety gates.
They have safety-rated monitoring stops, hand guiding, speed, and separation monitors, among other safety-related control systems. The robots can work together with their human counterparts while ensuring their safety thanks to these characteristics.
Collaborative robots can operate in enclosed spaces because of their safety features, which reduce the need for heavy barriers and fencing that must be subject to risk assessments. They can be operated and reprogrammed without the aid of skilled personnel. As a result, companies may readily customize the cobot to suit their requirements.
Easy to Use
Cobots’ capacity to collaborate effectively with people in the same setting depends on more than just safety. The robots can easily integrate into various firms’ manufacturing and assembly lines thanks to their usability, derived from simple programming, modification, and user-friendliness.
Previous models of robots were inflexible because users could not reprogram them for different purposes due to their complex programming frameworks. Contrarily, collaborative robots are user-friendly, simple to program, and reprogrammed to connect to existing systems and carry out various tasks.
Appropriate for Small and Medium-sized Businesses
The old assumption that robot use was only possible for bigger businesses and industries is over. Small and medium-sized companies can now use collaborative robots to automate their operations, thanks to Universal Robots. Cobots are also available in smaller companies worldwide to complete tasks like assembling, loading, and unloading cargo.
When businesses adopt cobots instead of older industrial robots, they gain a lot of financial advantages. The cost of purchasing and automating cobots is relatively reasonable, allowing for increased productivity and product quality.
Because of their safety features and ease of use, UR robots require relatively little maintenance since they don’t need a safety fence or a modification in the manufacturing environment.
They can also use them for various tasks like packaging, pick-and-place operations, palletizing, and machine maintenance. This adaptability suggests that companies can use the collaborative robot throughout its existence, rather than temporarily restricted to a particular production process, automating several processes.
Useful in Numerous Applications
Instead of being limited to a single industry or application, collaborative robots are highly adaptable and effective at any task. Universal Robots also offers an extensive range of accessories and software for modifying the cobots, including packing, machine tending, and any sophisticated process automation to satisfy the customers’ desired configuration and application requirements.
They are portable and compact, making it simple to redeploy them to other applications without changing the manufacturing layout. You can move the cobot from one activity to another and reuse prior scripts for frequent tasks.
Three Case Studies of How Collaborative Robots Have Benefited Businesses
GNE Farm Equipment
Collaborative robots are helpful in GNE Farm Equipment to reduce labor costs associated with milking cows, helping the business overcome a long-standing shortage of experienced milkers.
The time-consuming task of physically cleaning cows’ udders before and after milking is easier using the Universal Robots cobot, surpassing conventional robotic technology. For this automated milking system, a robot with a sensor and a spray mechanism is vital. When triggered, the cobot cleans the cow by sending a six-foot pipe with a nozzle under it.
The system consists of a tank for disinfection, pumps, valves, controllers, and onboard memory for the robot computer. It just needs a 120V connection (as opposed to the 240V / 480V required by traditional giant robots); therefore, you can connect it to any available outlet.
The collaborative robots from Universal Robots do not necessitate safety caging, unlike the latter robotics, which requires built-in safety devices to stop the robot’s movement if someone approaches the workspace.
The robot’s lightweight, adjustable spray arm automatically bends if it loses power to prevent injuring the cow and later packs the spring to bring it back to its operating position. The touchscreen point-and-click application makes it easy to program the UR robot for the dairyman.
Whippany Actuation Systems
This company produces electro-mechanical actuation systems for use in the aerospace and defense sectors. They preferred to handle everything in-house and needed to increase production swiftly.
The New Jersey business started looking for a robot to assist with maintaining their CNC machine. An unattended robot working all night would increase its production capacity, which is vital to meet the rising demand.
The management of Whippany purchased some collaborative robots from Universal Robots, where they received assistance in connecting the distinct I/O to the gear sharper controller and the collaborative robot, which led to seamless integration of the cobots with the CNC.
Before wiring anything up, they mapped out the necessary locations and identified all I/O points. Using the control systems application, their staff can now keep an eye on the precise I/O related to machine occurrences, such as the closing and opening the loaded units.
Orkla Foods in Sweden uses collaborative robots as part of a network that consists of a carton erector, a carton sealer, and a filling machine to pack vanilla cream bags into cartons. For Orkla Foods, the essential feature is that the cobot can operate flawlessly without further supervision or assistance.
The collaborative robot additionally benefits from not needing any safety barriers around it, enabling it to operate alongside its employees safely. The payback period for the UR10 robot installed at Orkla Foods was six months.
The benefits of cobot use continue to create new possibilities for industrial automation. More businesses will benefit if they enhance their automation strategy by figuring out new techniques to use collaborative robots to maximize productivity.