Robots for Worker Training
Industrial robots are mainly used to automate manufacturing applications in order to reduce or eliminate the need for human interaction. Articulated robots have been replacing humans in dangerous, repetitive, and tedious tasks for decades, with the number of robots growing each year in manufacturing. However, there is a new trend in the application of industrial robots and that is using them for worker training.
Instead of robots being deployed to replace workers, some companies are using them for worker training helping to create more jobs and debunking one of the most common myths about robotic automation. As many skilled workers such as welders have retired, it has created a shortage in the workforce. Less people have the skillset needed for some manual labor jobs, while there are also fewer experts left to be able to train new workers to gain the skills needed for more specialized manual labor positions. Now companies are opting for industrial robots to train their workers.
While many manufacturing jobs can be completely automated, there are some that still require or are better suited for manual labor. Productions with very low volumes in which the cost of automation cannot be justified or those with extremely complex applications may not be suitable for industrial robots. With a shrinking work pool of skilled workers, companies relying on specialized manual labor have been struggling to find the skill level needed for both training and working. Fortunately for them, using an industrial robot for worker training is helping them build a workforce of highly skilled professionals.
Industrial robots can train workers for welding automation, assembly, machining, and many other manufacturing processes. The FANUC Arcmate 100ic can train workers in the area of robotic arc welding. While the FANUC M-710ic/50 can be used to train employees for tasks such as milling or reaming. Once an industrial robot is programmed, it immediately has the expertise needed to properly train workers. Industrial robots used for training can provide real time feedback to turn novice workers into professionals.
Using six axis robots for worker training reduces costs associated with training. There is no fee for hiring a trainer and robotic training systems can reduce training time allowing your new workers to become productive quickly. In addition, companies save time by not having to search for a seasoned professional for training. Training can take place when it is convenient for the company instead of having to work around the availability of someone else.
The multipurpose capabilities of industrial robots mean one robot can be used to train workers for several different skillsets. The Motoman MA1400 could train workers for TIG welding, MIG welding, or plasma cutting. This saves companies from having to find an expert for each skillset needed and makes for a more efficient teaching process.
Not only are robots used to teach new skills, but they can also be used to train employees on how to operate robots themselves with robotic teaching cells. Robot education for employees is important for manufacturers using a mix of manual labor and robot automation. Robotic teaching cells train employees how to operate, program, and troubleshoot a robot. Common robots used for education include the Motoman MH5 and FANUC Lr Mate 200id.