Reducing Carbon Footprints with Robots
Industrial robots have been used to improve manufacturing processes for decades. They have been used to automate tasks that are too difficult or dangerous for humans resulting in safer work environments along with optimized operations. Each year more articulated robots are added to production floors as manufacturers look to capitalize on benefits such as lower costs, better product quality, higher productivity, and shorter cycle times. While robotic automation has been viewed as a means to improve manufacturing operations there is a new emerging use for robots and that is to reduce carbon footprints.
In recent years there has been a renewed focus on protecting the environment. One of the efforts aimed at accomplishing this is through reducing carbon footprints. In manufacturing the use of the FANUC Lr Mate 200ic and other industrial robots is helping companies do just that.
Greater EfficiencyIt is well known that industrial robots improve the efficiency of a manufacturing process. In fact, it is one of their key benefits. Robots are able to complete tasks in less time with greater accuracy than humans. The result is lower production costs, higher quality products, and increased productivity. There is another effect the higher efficiency of robots has on manufacturing and that is a reduced carbon footprint. The shorter cycle times of robots means less energy and other utilities are consumed for each production cycle. Robot accuracy and precision mean less materials are also consumed for manufacturing, reducing the total resources used.
In addition, robots themselves are energy efficient. Replacing aging manufacturing equipment with the Motoman MH50 will help lower carbon footprints by using less energy. This is especially true when replacing gas-powered equipment such as forklifts. Industrial robots can run on electric power. Some small robots can run solely through battery power. Both power sources are cleaner, reducing pollutants released into the air.
Eliminate Human ErrorWith manual labor human error is one of the biggest contributors to wasted and scrapped materials. Wasted and scrapped materials end up having to be discarded resulting in a higher carbon footprint for companies. Automating manufacturing with the FANUC Arcmate 120ic or other six axis robots eliminates human errors. Robots are accurate and have high repeatability making errors extremely rare. Fewer errors reduce scrapped and wasted materials. Less cleanup is needed, and fewer materials end up being discarded, reducing a manufacturer’s carbon footprint.
Automate RecyclingIndustrial robots can also be involved with the waste management process by automating recycling. Sorting robots are able to quickly and thoroughly scan and identify recyclable items. More items are able to be recycled with robotic automation. Robots can keep up with the high volume of recycling centers. The FANUC M-2ia can sort through hundreds of items within minutes. More materials are able to be reused with robotic automation helping to reduce CO2 emissions and pollution.
Industrial robots have proven to be an ideal solution for optimizing manufacturing. Now they are proving to be a solution for helping to improve our environment. Their efficiency, alleviation of errors, and ability to improve recycling can help reduce carbon footprints.