Why Automate Machine Loading with Robots
Machine loading is an ideal process for robotic automation. The loading and unloading of parts from manufacturing machinery is highly repetitive which can be mundane and taxing for workers. Tasks that are undesirable or dangerous for humans are ones that are prime candidates for robotic automation.
Machine loading can be automated by both industrial and collaborative robots. The FANUC M-20ia is ideal for machine loading while the Universal UR5 is a cobot that is also capable of automating the process. Whether you opt for traditional or collaborative automation there are many reasons to consider robotic machine loading.
- • Higher Throughput - Throughput and productivity will increase with machine loading robots. Articulated robots are able to operate at faster and more consistent speeds than human operators. It is impossible for humans to load and unload parts at fast and consistent rates. Humans can easily lose concentration and become distracted adding time onto cycles. With the Yaskawa MH50 and other industrial robots machine loading is fast and reliable reducing cycle times for higher throughput.
- • Greater Uptime - Robot manipulators allow for greater production uptimes than those that rely on manual labor. Factory robots can operate continuously around the clock without stoppages for breaks or shift changes. Workers are limited to eight hour shifts and are not consistently productive during work hours. Higher operation uptimes mean more parts can be processed in a single day which also allows for productivity gains.
- • Lower Costs - Automating machine loading with the FANUC CR-15ia will result in lower operating costs in the long run. Industrial robot arms are less expensive to operate and maintain than hiring skilled workers. Relying mainly on manufacturing robot arms to load machinery reduces the amount of manual labor needed, lowering labor costs. Robots also mitigate errors that can damage parts which reduces waste and material costs.
- • Improved Quality - Six axis robots ensure high and consistent quality. Robots are programmed to follow application steps which prevent errors such as incorrect part placement that can negatively impact part quality. They can also handle parts securely and safely ensuring parts do not become damaged during the loading and unloading process.
- • Streamline Operations - Machine loading robots can streamline operations with their multitasking ability. The ABB 2600-20 can manage multiple machines at once for a much more efficient operation. Machine loading robots can also be used to automate other processes outside of machine loading such as robotic part transfer and automated material handling.
- • Safer Working Conditions - Automating machine loading with robots provides a safer work environment. Loading heavy or large parts into machinery as well as just being around manufacturing machines can make workers prone to injuries. Robotic manipulators do not have the safety risks humans do. Robots can repeatedly load parts and operate close to machinery without incident. Fewer accidents will occur with machine loading robots.
- • Greater Manufacturing Flexibility - Machine loading robots provide greater manufacturing flexibility. They can easily adapt to part or process changes. Should demand increase robots can scale up their operation to meet new productivity requirements without having to add additional workers or equipment.
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