Commercial Functions of an Industrial Robot

Robots are used heavily in manufacturing industry. Robots applications in the industry can be generally categorized into three categories: material handling, processing and assembly/inspection. The robot is installed to improve a specific task or process. A robot can take a medial task done by an operator and maximize productivity by working in minimal time with maximum results. A robot replacing a human in a particular operation can increase productivity by improving quality and eliminating the small medial tasks. One example where a robot is more effective than a human is inserting small components onto a circuit board. A human can insert small components into a circuit board, however it would prove to be a difficult task because of the size of the human’s hands, the human eye and general human error. A robot can do the same task much faster and with greater accuracy.

Thus task now becomes simpler and more efficient because it is automated. Initial costs of robots can prove to be expensive, but the ROI is higher than most companies can expect. The hourly cost of a human operator has increase over the last few years, but the implementation cost and support for a robot grows to be significantly less than the cost of a human.

Manufacturers will take many things into consideration when making the choice between robotics and manual operation. The challenges that are posed with robotics include setup time, the manufacturing to space ratio, the quality of the work completed, inventory, flexibility, distance and uptime. These factors will determine directly the ROI for the Plant. The advantages a robot will give to the manufacturing processes to enable quick changeovers in design by merely changing the robot’s programming. Industry is learning towards lower volume specialty robots and products have the flexibility to excel. The original way of designing a robot involved conceptual design, and CAD software, and detailed design drawings.

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