Collaborative robotics advances every day and offers us a series of advantages and benefits with its use. In today’s post, we briefly review what cobots are and their characteristics, what modes of collaboration they have, how collaborative robotics is used in the industry, its advantages and benefits, and the most common applications.
What are cobots and their characteristics
Collaborative robots are equipment designed to physically interact with people in a work environment, being able to share a collaborative space. Work and communication tasks are facilitated since they are designed for this purpose.
Cobots guarantee, thanks to their design, the safety of workers when they interact with each other. The characteristics that allow this interaction to be safe are: the sensors included in the joints that measure and control their force and speed and, the type of materials used for their manufacture, lighter and with fewer edges, among others.
Cobot collaboration modes
As we have already said, collaborative robots allow you to collaborate with production workers, reducing their workload. They can handle the most demanding and least ergonomic jobs. Their design features guarantee the security of this collaboration, in addition, they are versatile and the space they need to be installed is reduced. Depending on the case, additional safety and protection devices are necessary, even so, these are designed to save space and reduce the complexity of their installation.
People offer the ability to solve problems and provide dexterity to the tasks they perform, on the other hand, cobots offer strength and precision in them. So together, they are the perfect couple.
There are several working modes:
- The man and the cobot work in the same workspace, therefore they coexist in the same area without protection fences. Even so, they work on different tasks and independently coexisting in the same space.
- Cobots and humans also cooperate in the same field of work, different tasks happening in the same process, without direct interaction between them.
- Finally, men and cobots can collaborate by interacting with each other, while both working on the same component.
In addition to collaboration with workers, cobots are perfectly integrated with other peripheral equipment and systems involved in a production process such as PLC or CNC, among others. Some of them use communication protocols such as Profinet or TCP / IP, which is why they are perfectly adapted for integration in current processes with existing automation in production plants.
Collaborative robotics in the industry
Collaborative robots allow automating tasks without making major changes in production lines, which is a great opportunity for small and medium industries. This, added to the possibility of working together with humans, is a great advantage over traditional robotics, avoiding expensive fences and improving people’s safety. In addition, cobots are easy to program and their integration is simple, which also facilitates their implementation in this type of company.
In Spain, a large part of the industrial fabric is made up of small and medium-sized companies, therefore, collaborative robotics is a great advance for automation in all senses. It is capable of going as far as traditional robotics had not been able until now.
On the other hand, the most automated industries such as the automobile industry also have the opportunity to include cobots in their production since they support workers and precisely perform tasks that do not add value to the product. In addition, they can take care of less ergonomic tasks that cause injuries and dangerous tasks.
Advantages and benefits
The main advantage of collaborative robots is the possibility they offer to work together with workers without additional security systems, or a large workspace. Of course, the appearance of these robots has led to the creation of new legislation which defines the new safety requirements and their use.
On the other hand, both the installation and the programming of collaborative robots is easier than that of traditional robots. The programming interface is intuitive and easy to use, in addition there is the possibility of manually moving the robot and recording the desired points and positions, and then recording them and making the movements automatically. Installation is also simple as it does not require large spaces or security systems.
The simplicity when installing these robots makes them very versatile since it is easy to move and program them from one position to another, to perform a different task.
Other advantages that collaborative robots have are:
- Increased precision: the incorporation of cobots can reduce manual management errors and increase the precision of different processes.
- Increased safety: cobots can perform un-ergonomic or dangerous operations, thus avoiding possible injuries. They can also work in hazardous environments such as gases, chips or sharp objects.
- Increased productivity: collaborative robots operate continuously without any interruption. In this way, they can support workers in repetitive tasks and with greater physical effort, improving performance.
- Flexibility and scalability: the cobots can adapt to multiple tasks and thanks to their easy installation they can be moved from one position to another, to enhance other tasks.
Collaborative robot applications
As we have already told you, cobots are especially useful for performing repetitive tasks, handling small loads or assemblies. Some of the applications in which a collaborative robot can be used are:
- CNC feeder or other machines: The feeding tasks are repetitive and do not add value to the product, so they can be carried out by a collaborative robot that adapts to the work environment and that coexists with the workers.
- Pick and place: Pick and place tasks are also repetitive, cobots increase precision and decrease waste. In addition, including other technologies such as computer vision, bin picking applications can be carried out with this type of robotics. You already know that for us, computer vision and collaborative robotics are the perfect couple!
§ Assemblies: Cobots can reduce assembly time, increasing production speed and improving quality, as well as performing repetitive testing tasks.
- Surface finish: gluing or chrome plating tasks are delicate and require a very specific skill and delicacy. With collaborative robots and their built-in sensors, this type of application can be carried out with great precision.
- Welding: Welding work is carried out with greater precision and avoids the risks derived from this task such as burns or cuts.
The integration of collaborative robots is a great step for the improvement of processes, as you have seen, it can be applied to different sectors and to companies of all sizes, which facilitates automation.
Do you want to use collaborative robots in any of your Projects? Contact us or call us at 876715051!
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