Collaborative robots are the latest trend in robotic automation. Over the past several years the growth of cobots has exploded. Cobots with their user-friendly operation, low cost, and versatility have helped make robotic automation more accessible. The growth of the collaborative robot market has led many of the top robotic manufacturers to develop their own. FANUC has largely been known for their articulated robots, but their CR series featuring the FANUC CR-15ia and other cobots has become quite popular. There are even companies that exclusively manufacture cobots. Universal is one of them. They produce several collaborative robots including the Universal UR10.
While many manufacturers are adopting collaborative robots, you may be wondering if this is the right automation solution for your production. Below is a look at ways in which you too can benefit from collaborative robots.
- • Increase Productivity - Collaborative robots are designed to work alongside and collaboratively with humans. They are built with enhanced safety features to eliminate the hazards associated with traditional six axis robots and to allow them to interact directly with humans. In a traditional robotic setup humans and robots are separated. When human intervention is needed, the robots must be stopped. With cobots, humans and robots can share the same work area and work together on tasks. Implementing the Universal UR5 can increase productivity by up to 85% by providing assistance to your workers.
- • Easy Setup - Collaborative robots provide an out of the box automation solution. They are incredibly easy to install and program. Cobots can be up and running within just a couple of hours. You also do not need to be an expert at robotics to operate a cobot. Hand guidance programming allows cobots to be programmed by simply guiding their arm. Any of your employees will be able to program and operate a cobot.
- • Fill in Labor Gaps - Cobots are ideal for filling in labor gaps and in many cases using them makes more sense than hiring a temporary worker. Their quick deployment allows them to easily fill in where labor is scarce. They can provide an extra “hand” to your employees by taking over undesirable tasks such as repetitive, dull, or hazardous jobs.
- • Automate High Changeover Productions - Some manufacturers have not been able to automate in the past because their production involved high changeovers. The amount of time it would take to reprogram and redeploy a robot for every change could not be justified. The quick setup and programming of the Universal UR16e and other cobots makes them ideal for automating productions with a high mix of parts or products. Little time is needed to redeploy a cobot. The compact size of cobots also allows them to be easily transported from workstation to workstation.
- • Lower Implementation Cost - Collaborative robots can be less expensive than traditional robots when all factors are taken into account. The robots themselves can cost less. In addition, extra equipment such as a workcell, dividers, and safety sensors are not needed since they can work with humans. This further keeps the cost of implementing a cobot down, making them a more affordable option for automation.