Advancements in Artificial Intelligence are becoming more rapid allowing today’s industrial plants to become more smarter, faster and safer. Collaborative robots present the best use case for AI technologies, guided by visioning camera system, driven by machine learning algorithms.
Robots, as we know, have been in use for decades and have been the driver of automation in fields such as automotive industries. But they were always kept at a safe distance, with a significant amount of resources spent on ensuring they don’t perform operations out of bounds. The concept of cobots changed everything; suddenly, allowing robots to work more freely and in “collaboration” with humans. The technology is ready for plant floors, with over 10,000 installed industrial applications along with a market growth rate of 10 times over the next five years.
So what benefits would Cobots bring to the plant floor?
Optimization – the entire manufacturing value chain would gain greater optimization with cobots in the mix. They would generate piles of data that can be put through Big Data engines to streamline methods and find the easiest way to get the job done. In addition, the accumulated data can be analyzed for certain trends that would improve the product consistency, that too at a lower cost.
Flexibility – compared to traditional heavyweight, well-guarded robots, cobots are much smaller and flexible. This allows them to serve several roles ensuring that they are utilized to the fullest extent.
Easy Integration – collaborative robotic software is revolutionary compared to traditional ones, making the entire system much easier to deploy. System Integrators can work actively with manufacturers to help them identify the multiple roles for which the cobots can be used for.
Affordability – instead of making a full-time investment in a robot, manufacturers can follow an OPEX model, allowing them to lease and rent robots, on a as-needed basis. This can be quite beneficial for a company that has limited manufacturing needs.
Humans and Cobots
The prime reason for the development of cobots was to aid humans. Both can work together to create a product, study its parameters and improve the process-chain. Work cells can be put in place for humans and cobots, with the latter doing the heavy-lifting or operating at precision-accuracy. This will shift the worker’s role from an operator to more of a guider, and focus greatly on tasks for which cobot technology is too pre-mature.
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