How Robots are Good for the Environment
Protecting the environment has been a key concern for many years. Industries have been exploring ways to reduce their environmental footprint while still running their manufacturing operations. One way companies have been working to improve the environment is through robotic automation. Deploying robots in manufacturing is proving to have a positive impact on our climate.
Robots Improve Recycling ProcessesAutomating waste treatment and recycling has shown to reduce CO2 emissions as more materials are captured and able to be reused. Sorting robots use AI technology to scan, identify, and sort items that can be recycled. Prior to sorting robots, the process of recycling was done manually by workers. However, the manual sorting of waste was plagued by inefficiencies. Workers were not able to keep up with conveyors moving thousands of items and had a difficult time recognizing recyclable materials. Sorting robots are able to operate at fast speeds while their AI technology can quickly scan several items and alert them for recyclables. The FANUC M20ia can sort through hundreds of items within minutes. All recyclable items are identified, preventing them from being missed and kept as waste. Automating recycling processes with robots reduces pollution since more items are recycled and reused.
Robots Reduce Material WasteNot only can robots be utilized for sorting through waste, but they can also help prevent it in the first place. Industrial robots are designed to perform tasks with incredible precision and accuracy, through the use of programming, robotic vision systems, and force sensors. Most material waste from manufacturing is the result of human error. Automating manufacturing processes with robots eliminates or greatly reduces the need for human interaction, which prevents errors from occurring. Articulated robots area able to conserve raw materials, only using what is necessary and performing tasks correctly. This prevents materials and items from having to be discarded and turned into waste.
In the automotive industry, a FANUC M710ic/20L is used to cut sheet metal with a laser. It is programmed with the exact parameters to follow for every cycle turn, ensuring accurate cuts. If automated laser cutting were to be done manually, the chance of error increases along with the likelihood of increased waste. Automating with industrial robots cuts down on material waste, allowing for the efficient use of raw materials, helping to keep the environment clean.