Improving Manufacturing Output with Robots
Output in manufacturing refers to the total production of goods. The more finished products a company produces in a given time period the higher the output. Output is important because it reflects how productive a manufacturing process is. Company revenues are able to grow when productivity and output increase. Higher output also results in lower costs since goods are produced in less time. Manufacturing output can be significantly improved with industrial robots. Robotic automation is common in today’s manufacturing facilities, allowing companies to increase their output capacity.
One of the ways articulated robots are able to increase output is because of their long operating hours. Industrial robots can work around the clock with no breaks, seven days a week. Automating with the FANUC Arcmate 120ic can turn a twelve-hour facility into a twenty-four facility. With the ability to operate the entire day and night more workpieces can be moved through a production cycle, helping to increase output. Low automation facilities rely heavily on people for their labor. Workers require breaks and shorter shifts. They can also become easily distracted or lazy resulting in inefficient manufacturing and lower output.
Not only can industrial robots operate for long hours, but while they are operating, they are doing so at incredibly fast speeds. Robots are significantly faster than humans. The Motoman HP20D can transfer parts hundreds of feet within minutes. While the FANUC Lr Mate 200ic can make quick work of robotic assembly applications. Since robots are fast, cycle times will be reduced by automating with them. Faster cycle times allow for higher output since more products can be manufactured each day.
The amount of time operating, and speed of operation are both important for increasing output. Another contributing factor to improving output is the elimination of rework. Humans are error prone no matter how careful they may try to be. When errors are made in manufacturing, workpieces need to be fixed resulting in rework. Rework causes decreased output as workpieces need more than one cycle run. Industrial robots eliminate rework with their accuracy. They are able to avoid errors, resulting in workpieces being finished with just one cycle. Industrial robots are able to be incredibly accurate since they are programmed with specific instructions to follow for an application. Robots are designed for high repeatability, meaning they do not deviate from a programmed application. Integrating robots with technology such as vision systems or force sensors enhances their operation for even greater accuracy. With six axis robots, companies have a reliable manufacturing system that prevents mistakes or errors from occurring for greater output. The prevention of errors not only improves output but also the quality of goods being produced.
The resiliency of industrial robots is another contributing factor to increased output. Robots are able to withstand harsh work environments whether from extreme heat, dust, or chemicals. The FANUC M-710ic/50 is an IP67 rated robot designed for operating in such conditions. Robots can lift, bend, or twist over and over without any issues, whereas workers could become injured from repeated strenuous movements. Robots are able to operate without failure in most circumstances, ensuring productions remain running for higher output.