What Are Cobots, And How Will They Impact The Future Of Manufacturing?
Industries are moving towards automation. The use of cobots in manufacturing is increasing. There are many reasons for this, but the main ones are that they can work alongside humans and can be easily reprogrammed to suit specific tasks. There are many different types of collaborative robots in manufacturing. Some specialize in repetitive tasks, while others are more flexible and customizable.
Cobots in Manufacturing: Industrial Robotization
The use of cobots has become widespread in manufacturing. They are used for tasks that are repetitive, dangerous, and dull. This is because they can work alongside humans and do not require much training. Industrial robotization is automating a manufacturing process to increase efficiency and productivity. It is done by implementing robots in the manufacturing process. Industrial robots have a wide range of uses in manufacturing. They can be used for welding, painting, assembly, and material handling. The use of industrial robots reduces labor costs and improves quality control.
In the automotive industry, automotive manufacturers are increasingly using cobots to automate car production processes that human workers did in the past. Cars assembled by humans have flaws, including inconsistent quality, low throughput, and higher labor costs. To resolve such issues, automation is being done through cobots. Cobots are becoming more popular in manufacturing because they can be used for repetitive, dangerous, and dull tasks. This is because they can work side by side with humans and do not require much space or have many moving parts. Cobots help in manufacturing by increasing efficiency, productivity, and profits by automating low-skilled, monotonous, or dangerous jobs like material handling, cleaning, and palletizing.
Mainstream Industries: A Glimpse Into The Future
An industrial survey revealed that cobots in manufacturing were valued at $981 million by 2020, and it was expected to increase to $7.172 billion in the next seven years. Every year, more and more businesses are moving towards automation to become tech savvy and minimize the risk of both long-term and short-term loss.
The following mainstream industries use cobots in manufacturing:
– Research & Education
– Plastic molding
– Security and more
Cobots vs. Robots
As the term suggests, cobots are robots that work in collaboration with humans. They are designed with sensors to work safely alongside humans and be more productive than robots. Cobots are robot-like automated devices working near humans. The biggest difference between cobots and robots is the tasks they are assigned. Cobots in manufacturing are tasked to take care of the four D’s, i.e., dangerous, dirty, dull, and dear.
On the contrary, robots in industries are replacements for humans. It does not mean that robots are taking over the jobs of humans. They automate mundane tasks so humans can work on creative and innovative stuff. In easier words, robots replace the human workforce, and cobots assist the human workforce. Another important difference between the two is that cobots in manufacturing assist in smaller work. In contrast, robots are designed for heavy-duty work.
The use of cobots is becoming more common in manufacturing plants and warehouses. In these environments, they can take on some of the tasks traditionally performed by human workers, such as loading and unloading materials or picking up items from storage racks.
Cobots in Manufacturing: Advantages
The advantages of using cobots in manufacturing plants are many: they can help reduce workplace injuries, increase worker productivity, and increase the safety of the factory floor. They scale up production and free up space for remote work. Cobots in manufacturing are making operations more efficient, increasing production, and producing better quality results. It shows that cobots are better suited for small and medium-sized industries.
Cobots in Manufacturing: Disadvantages
Cobots in manufacturing do not have any disadvantages regarding their functionality. The question arises about their role in certain businesses. For example, they are not suitable for heavy-duty industries and manufacturing. This exclusion is because of their semi-automated functionality. Cobots need human assistance. They are just like an extra hand for a worker to improve work efficiency and complete more tasks in less time. But industrialists still invest in cobots because they think that with tech advancements, the shortcomings of cobots will be overcome in no time.
Future of Manufacturing
The future of manufacturing is here with the introduction of collaborative robots. These robots are programmed to work in tandem with humans and use their intelligence to make the process more efficient. Cobots are not just a replacement for human labor; they also make the work environment safer. Cobots reduce the risk of injury and make it easier for employees to do their jobs. With the help of cobots, manufacturers can save up to 30% on labor costs and improve their production capacity. Cobots are best suited for repetitive tasks that do not require much precision. They are usually used in assembly lines or light manufacturing.
In 2018, the automotive industry reached a significant milestone, with 54% of production getting automated. The automotive industry hit this benchmark due to the increased usage of cobots in conjunction with other automation techniques, such as computer vision for product inspection and mapping. Automation has allowed manufacturers to reduce costs, improve quality and increase efficiency. Ford is one company that has benefited from automation. Founded in 1903, Ford Motor Company is one of the oldest automobile manufacturers in the world. Automation has allowed this company to reduce costs, improve quality and increase efficiency. Ford has used automation to its advantage by helping it lower costs, increase production capacity and improve customer service.
The spectrum of smart tech is increasing, and so is the collaboration of cobots in manufacturing. With tech evolution, cobots are expected to become more sophisticated in the coming years. With the advancement of Artificial Intelligence, cobots in manufacturing will become more versatile, and who knows if they will take over large-scale enterprises too. Predictive analysis suggests that cobots are expected to mature and handle multiple factories and workflows in the near future. We certainly cannot wait to see this bright and automated future.