As the popularity of cobots soars and industries looking to automate gravitate more towards cobots rather than the traditional robot, it is much clearer that the workplace of the future will be a collaborative workplace. Where humans and machine will work together to accomplish the goals of the organization.
Collaborative robots as manufactured by Universal Robots can be applied to different tasks in different industries for a much better quality of products and a much better workplace for the human staff.
Cobots are and will always keep giving value for money wherever they are accepted as the main tool of automation.
Which activities can universal robots cobots be applied to?
Machine tending or monitoring
This is a task that is demanding and tiring to the human staff as they are required to stand for long hours and feed material into machines. Cobots can be assigned this task and will carry it out perfectly. Cobot programming allows them to be easy to teach. In addition, cobots are easily assembled and an end of arm tooling on them allows them to perform all tasks assigned to them.
Pick and place
When companies think of automating, one of the most obvious tasks is pick and place. It is one of the most repetitive and mundane tasks that can be easily automated for more efficient work. This activity involves the cobot picking items for example from a conveyor and delivering them to another location. For the cobot to effectively carry out this task, it needs a special arm with suction ability to pick items carefully and safely. It also needs a vision capability which can be added to it to locate the items and their destinations.
Packaging and palletizing
After manufacturing, products need to be shipped to market. Before this they are well packaged in different packaging material. Cobots are able to do this as a continuation of the pick and place process. After packaging, cases of packed product are then placed on pallets ready for shipping. Cobots are able to effectively carry out this process. They eliminate the need for human staff to get involved with palletizing thus saving time.
This is another application on which cobots can be applied. Applying cobots to this task ensures that the manufactured products are produced to exact specifications. The cobot is initially fed with the designs of the product and it checks that the actual product aligns with the designs in it. Also, high resolution cameras are fitted on to the robot for the actual inspection and verification of the final product by capturing and verifying digital images.
These are tasks such as gluing, dispensing especially in the pharmaceuticals industry and even welding. These are tasks that require high levels of precision and repeatability. To the human staff, this activity requires a lot of training. To the cobot, the only instruction needed is in the form of a program which instructs it on the process of completing the activity. In this way, it is able to automate a significant and time consuming process for the production of high quality products.
Final touches tasks
These are tasks such as polishing, deburring and grinding. Normally, this tasks will require a lot of force or pressure exerted on to the finished product using a tool which could be a cause of injury to the operator. Automating these jobs leads to increased safety and a final product of much better quality. A cobot can be taught these tasks either manually or through programming. Using a cobot hastens the process and produces high quality, well finished end products.
Hazardous material handling
Cobots can be assigned jobs deemed too risky or too dangerous for human staff. In the military and police, when there is a bomb threat, it is prudent to have mobile robots mounted with cameras assess the threat. Those involved can then be at a safe distance monitoring the situation through the cameras mounted on the cobot.