How Robots Have Transformed the Automotive Industry
The automotive manufacturing sector has been making rapid steps in industrial automation thereby emerging as a role model for other industries. It proves how successful adoption of automation is helpful in order to increase the value chain and achieve zero defects production.
Industrial robots have been associated with the automotive industry since their inception into the market over 50 years ago. Back in 1962, the installation of the first robot was in General Motors’ plant in New Jersey, becoming the very first major manufacturer to adopt robot use in its production. However as time went by, many manufactures began turning towards robots to automate more of their processes.
Fast forward to today, and the sector continues to dominate robot usage worldwide by increasing their investments in the industrial robots. Changes that seem to be taking place in car markets is driving automotive manufacturers to improve their operational efficiency, increase productivity and be cost efficient.
The introduction of the new generation robots, the collaborative robots or cobots, will enable the industry achieve that. Collaborative robots are robots designed to work side by side with human workers. Universal Robots is very dedicated in producing these high quality cobots, which offer a variety of benefits to companies that adopt their use.
This is how cobots have become game changers in the industry
While the global automotive industry employs over 8 million people, manufactures still believe that the workforce is still not enough. This explains the huge investment of collaborative robot to help complete a number of tasks in the sector. These manufacturing robots offer all the benefits of advanced robotic automation without the traditional costs of maintain robots. Unlike the traditional industrial robots that are large, require panels, fencing and safety equipment, they have a simpler mechanical setup, installation and integration into the production system.
Cobots are ushering a new era by evolving automobile factories into smart factories in which networked robots are in constant communication with each other. Integrated measuring systems and sensors in the robots enable them to monitor assembly operations. Cloud computing is applied in order to host the data in remote data centers and run software applications from centralized servers.
Cobots have been very helpful in doing tasks, which are dangerous or monotonous. Stacking vehicle parts off a conveyor belt routinely or dealing with a CNC machine as it builds gearboxes all day long for a long period of time sounds tiresome, risky and boring. Fortunately, collaborative robots are very efficient in doing the dangerous and monotonous tasks. Although the CNC machine operation promotes precision and efficiency in the automotive factories, cobots use in tending them helps save valuable employees time spent on that tedious job.
There are plenty of applications in automotive industry, which require a repetitive but precise process. These tasks are ideal for cobots. Such tasks include sealing door panels and sunroofs, in glass application, gluing and lastly in the installation of engine block manifolds. For instance, the automotive OEM manufacturing plants uses the manufacturing robots to screw car seats and rest frames. The cobots are also very helpful in machine tending processes like brake presses and other functions like assembling circuit boards.
Flexibility of the cobots is one of the most beneficial features that promote their use globally. They are easy to program and work in harmonious collaboration with human workers to enable them achieve productivity in various roles. The robot arms from Universal Robots are lightweight and easy to deploy to multiple applications since the average time required to set them up is half a day.
The continuous innovations and improvements of industrial robotic technology enable manufacturers to utilize robots in order to achieve their objectives depending on the specific challenges they desire to solve. It is important for companies to consider their long-term business and production goals they aspire to achieve when embarking on the automation process.