Advantages of Vision Guided Robots

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Vision guided robots are industrial robots that have been integrated with one or more cameras. These cameras provide visual feedback to the robotic controller by capturing pictures of workpieces and the surrounding work environment. Vision systems allow robots to accurately handle variables while operating without the need for additional programming. Camera systems for vision guided robots are either 2D or 3D with the former being currently more common. Vision guided robots have quickly become the standard for many manufacturing processes due to their many advantages.

  • • Robots are more adaptable - Vision guided robots can easily adapt to process or part changes with visual feedback even while in mid-operation. Integrating the FANUC Lr Mate 200ic with vision allows it to recognize when part types change during an robotic assembly application. The sensory feedback given to its controller allows it to automatically adjust to those part changes.

  • • Automate complex applications - Another advantage of vision guided robots is their ability to automate more complex applications. Applications for robots without vision need to be highly repetitive, but vision guided robots can automate processes with variability. The ABB IRB 2600-20 can automate part transfer applications with varying locations and parts. Without vision the parts and location would need to remain the same and the articulated robot would need to be reprogrammed for each change.

  • • Reduces human involvement - Vision guided robots also reduce the amount of human involvement needed for a manufacturing process. Since vision guided robots can “see” their environment and automatically adjust to variables there is less need for reprogramming and monitoring of the robot’s operation. Those looking to create a lights-out factory are implementing vision guided robots.

  • • Quick changeovers - Since vision guided robots can automatically adapt, changeovers between products and processes are quick. Programming is not necessary for every new part that is introduced. This saves significant downtime and allows for higher throughput. This is especially valuable for productions with frequent changeovers or a high mix of parts.

  • • Greater accuracy - Industrial robots on their own are incredibly accurate but adding a vision system only enhances their accuracy. Visual feedback allows them to better locate specific coordinates as well as adjust to any unexpected variations that were not programmed. Product quality is significantly improved.

  • • Reduces material waste - With higher accuracy and less human involvement errors are mitigated. Fewer errors means less material waste and less rework which also contributes to higher material use.

  • • Reduced costs - Vision guided robots will lower costs with less manual labor and reduced waste. Higher throughput means faster cycle times which also reduce operational costs. Higher product quality means less rework will occur and fewer product recalls.

  • • Quick ROI - Most industrial robots have a relatively short return period. With vision guided robots, that return can be even faster. The faster cycle times and quick changeovers of vision guided robots increase throughput for higher productivity. Less time is needed to manufacture products, allowing goods to reach more consumers. Production costs are lowered and when combined with higher revenues the profit potential significantly increases making it likely companies will see a quick ROI. The benefits of a vision guided Yaskawa Motoman MH12 can allow for an ROI within the first year of purchase.

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