Implementing Industrial Robots
Deciding to automate part or all of your productions is a wise investment that will set your company up for long-term success. Once industrial robots were considered only options for large manufacturers. However, with improved technology and the decline of robot prices, robotic automation can be realized by companies of any size.
Benefits of Implementing RobotsThere are many benefits to implementing industrial robots, some of the main ones include:
- • Lower costs - Automating a production line with industrial robots will result in lower costs. Automating with the FANUC Arcmate 120ic will reduce material waste, cut down on errors, save on utilities such as electric, and reduce labor expenses resulting in significant savings for expanded profit potential.
- • Increased productivity - Articulated robots operate at faster speeds for longer periods of time and without breaks or delays. This allows for greater throughput and will increase productivity.
- • Better Quality - Industrial robots operate with great precision and accuracy. Removing or limiting human interaction with productions will reduce errors, resulting in the manufacturing of higher quality products.
- • Safer Productions - Many tasks associated with manufacturing can be hazardous or dangerous to workers. Industrial robots are better equipped to perform such tasks thus creating a safer work environment for your employees.
- • Consistent Operations - Implementing robots will create consistency across your production line. Robots are able to replicate each cycle, resulting in consistent productivity rates, quality, materials used, and cycle times.
Considerations for Implementing RobotsNow that you have an understanding of what benefits can be gained from implementing industrial robots there are some factors that should be considered.
- • Application - First you will need to assess what application or applications you will be automating. This will largely influence the robot you select. Looking to automate a MIG application, then an arc welding robot, like the Yaskawa MA1440 could be a good choice.
- • Robot Type - There are several different types of industrial robots. Articulated robots are the most common. The FANUC R-2000ic is an six axis articulated robot that is capable of automating multiple applications.
- • Payload - The maximum payload capacity your robot will need is also important. In order to determine the maximum payload workpiece weight and EOAT weight need to be considered.
- • Reach - Making sure your robot has an appropriate reach for your robotic application is critical for successful automation. There are short-arm, extended reach, and standard reach robots. The size of your workspace and workpieces will determine the reach needed.
- • New or Used Robot - When buying an industrial robot there are two options; new or used. Whether you buy new or used will likely be determined by your budget. However, used robots provide significant savings with almost the same benefits as a new robot.
- • Work Environment - Some work environments may require special options for robots. For instance, sterile environments will likely require a cleanroom robot while those with hazardous conditions will likely need a high IP rated robot.
Steps to Implement RobotsAfter determining the above considerations there are several steps to take to ensure successful automation with your robot. These include:
- 1. Setting your budget
- 2. Conducting a risk assessment
- 3. Documenting application process
- 4. Defining success and failure metrics
- 5. Reviewing robotic safety standards
- 6. Training employees