More efficient production processes, costs reduction, increased operational flexibility-these are just some of the many benefits of industrial automation.
The use of robotic lines in production cycles, in fact, brings numerous advantages. Along with industrial robots, we find the application of cobots, thanks to which, on the one hand, work and production overloads are reduced, while on the other hand they increase the efficiency and reliability of the company, because machine downtime is minimized; all of which allows for significant returns in terms of productivity.
The role of cobots in industrial automation: what they are
Cobots represent an extremely innovative industrial automation solution that is characterized by remarkable operational flexibility. The word “cobot” is the result of a fusion of the English terms “collaborative” and “robot”: collaborative robots, precisely, that interact both with operators and their surroundings in a safe manner.
Cobots, like industrial robots, have the ability to perform tasks characterized by a high level of complexity, as well as numerous customization options that operators have at their disposal: the highest degree of operational flexibility is provided by the ability to program multiple parameters.
In addition, cobots are designed and built to work collaboratively with operators, by virtue of advanced programming and through the adoption of state-of-the-art sensors. Collaborative robotics has paved the way for automation in multiple industries.
Cobots do not replace the human component; rather, they place it at the center of industrial automation: this is what is known as Industry 4.0, which is characterized by the sharing of activities and spaces between humans and machines.
Human – Cobot interaction: how it happens
Human-cobot interaction serves to speed up production processes by reducing the downtime of human operators. For example, an attendant can use a cobot as a positioner so that it picks up a bulky object from a storage point that is close to the line and positions it at the right location for production; the attendant will then be responsible for aligning the object in question precisely to secure it to a location.
In assembly lines for products characterized by a high level of complexity, on the other hand, human operators may be in charge of the assembly of non-rigid parts while cobots are entrusted with picking and pressing tasks.
There are tasks that require dexterity that only humans can have, while collaborative robots are entrusted with the most demanding and heavy-duty tasks, as is the case – among others – in the consumer electronics industry.
Where cobots are used
There are numerous sectors in which cobots are used: end-of-line operations and automotive, for example, but also machining and food processing. In addition, collaborative robots can be used in the polymer industry, electronics, and chemical and pharmaceutical industries.
In fact, cobots are enabled to operate in clean rooms and, more generally, in all areas that presuppose compliance with very strict safety criteria. It is because of their application flexibility that they are able to make their own efficiency contribution in many processes, which can thus be automated with ease.
Machine loading and unloading, for example, is a common need in many contexts. In the case of plastics processing, cobots adapt to the needs of demolding and pick-and-place, providing the programming speed that is required for constantly evolving production processes.
How to choose the right cobot to improve industrial automation
In order to choose the cobot in the right way to improve industrial automation, it is essential to take into account the end applications, so that the benefits provided by collaborative robotics can be maximized.
The market provides a wide range of solutions, not only because of the availability of different types of cobots, but also because of the possibility of choosing solutions with different capacities, sizes and functions.
For example, in industry, cobots can be used for palletizing, quality control or product handling.
Wanting to figure out which cobot to rely on, it is necessary to take into consideration the target operating area and the weight that needs to be moved. Generally speaking, larger models are favored because they provide a higher operational capacity in terms of range and capacity.
LCS and Industrial Automation
Between robotic lines, assembly lines, welding islands and industrial electrical systems: discover the solutions and advantages of industrial automation that LCS makes available to its customers. If you would like to receive more information and get to know us more closely, please contact us without obligation.