Technology

Robotic Automation in Manufacturing is Here to Stay

Any manufacturing facility that has not invested in robotic automation ought to revise its business objectives. It is simply not possible in this day and age to compete effectively without automation in your plant. There are a lot of manufacturing challenges that can be solved by robotics.

Manufacturers need to be aware of the benefits they stand to enjoy from robotic automation. Robots are able to perform multiple tasks more efficiently than people as they are consistent, precise and need no breaks. In addition, they seldom make mistakes, unlike human workers. 

They are programmed to perform tasks such as the following:

  • Assembly
  • Welding
  • Material handling
  • Product packing
  • Shipping
  • Palletizing

Many manufacturers are increasingly relying on robots for a wide range of applications. Even new manufacturing plants consider starting with at least one small industrial robot in order to break even. They know they will barely break ground without some form of automation. 

Manufacturer’s Concerns with Regard to Automation

A number of manufacturers who are yet to adopt automation are concerned about certain issues with regard to robotics. Some of these issues include:

  • The cost of robotic automation
  • The viability automation for small businesses
  • Programming and operation
  • Loss of jobs for human workers

These are important concerns that must be addressed. A business person must be sure that any investment they make is economically viable. How fast will the investment pay back? Also, many still feel that robots are meant for big businesses. Nothing could be farther from the truth. 

Robotics has provided solutions for small and medium plants by designing small industrial robots fit to operate in small facilities. Moreover, the prices of robots have fallen considerably. 

Also, robots such as collaborative robots are not difficult to programme or operate. They also come with safety features that make them safe to work alongside humans. 

Finally, robots do not take over people’s jobs. They make the production floor safer, more efficient, and more exciting to work on. Robots take over tasks that humans are reluctant to perform. These include dirty, dangerous and repetitive tasks. 

Reasons Why Robotic Automation Can Be used across Multiple Industries

 

  • Automation Saves Costs and Time

 

For starters, they can be installed faster than before and for less cost. Advancements in technology and increased use have seen costs of robots reduce. They also improve throughput as they can operate for 24 hours all week. 

 

  • Robots Are Versatile

 

Robots can be used in both high production as well as low production facilities. Therefore, they can be used in large companies as well as small enterprises. This is because modern robots can be programmed fast for different tasks. 

 

  • Robots Are Easy to Program

 

Even the programming language of robots has undergone a metamorphosis. It has been drastically simplified and can be taught in just two methods. 

  • Offline programming: You are allowed to model a complete work area and forge a sequence of moves for a task. 
  • A teach pendant: A programmer takes the robot through a series of steps which are then stored. The robot then checks the program for impacts with humans or things. Once the tests are completed, the robot is ready to operate.

 

  • Robotics Create Work

 

This will probably raise an eyebrow or two but robots do create jobs. New and advancing technology always requires new talent. People are trained to fill the slots created. New careers are therefore created in robotics and affiliated disciplines.

Conclusion

Robotics is firmly entrenched in manufacturing. It can only be expected to advance and evolve more as manufacturing demands change. The onus is on industry players to embrace robotic automation on the production floor and learn to utilize it. 

This also means that even upstarts and SMEs must embrace robotic automation in order to compete effectively. Robots come with a slew of benefits that industry players cannot afford to ignore. Moreover, workers are saved from repetitive and hazardous tasks on the production floor.

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