Industrial robots have been automating manufacturing processes for years across numerous industries. From the automotive industry to the warehousing industry, robots are taking over their production floors boosting productivity, efficiency, and quality. Every year more and more manufacturers turn their production floors into robot fleets to capitalize on the advantages of automating with robots. There are many different types of robotic applications, allowing users to automate just about any manufacturing process.
Material Handling Applications
Material handling applications are extremely popular for automating with industrial robots
. Many of these applications involve repetitive, mundane, and laborious work making them a perfect fit for a FANUC R-2000ib
or a ABB IRB 6640
. Material handling applications include assembly, dispensing, machine loading, machine tending, part transfer, pick and place, press tending, packaging, and injection molding. These types of applications involve the handling, manipulating, and movement of parts. Industrial robots are integrated with a robotic gripper as their end-effector for these tasks. The gripper provides them the capability and dexterity needed to handle parts. The repeatability, accuracy, and speed of robots significantly improves material handling processes. Robots are programmed with application parameters ensuring each part achieves the same results. Best of all robots can maximize productivity
since they can operate twenty-four hours and do not tire, unlike humans.
Material Removal Applications
Material removal applications often involve the three D’s of manufacturing; dull, dirty, and dangerous. However, industrial robots are powerful and durable machines designed to handle the harsh nature of these processes. Material removal applications include cutting, drilling, de-burring, de-flashing, sanding, polishing, milling, grinding, and buffing. They involve the removal of material to shape, smooth, or finish a product through the use of robotic EOAT
. The FANUC M-710ic/50
is ideal for these type of processes with its precise movements, ensuring the correct amount is removed. Product quality is increased while preventing the waste of material and costs from increasing material. Worker safety can also be improved
through the automation of these processes as robots are better equipped to handle flying debris than their human counterparts.
Welding applications are some of the most common for robot automation since they require precision, accuracy, and repetition. Welding applications automated with robots include spot welding, flux core, MIG, TIG, electron beam, and laser. Depending upon the exact welding process, an industrial robot may be integrated with a welding torch, power source, and wire feeder. Some of the most popular robots in manufacturing are welding robots including the FANUC Arc Mate 120ic
and the Motoman EA1900N
. Older robots such as the FANUC Arc Mate 120ib
are still viable to integrate providing a cost effective option to automate
. Welding robots can also be integrated into welding cells
for enhanced efficiency and worker safety. These robots are programmed to provide the skillset necessary to deliver high-quality welds helping to close the welding skills gap
Other Robotic Applications
Additional types of robotic applications include painting, sealing, foundry, inspection, cleanroom, die casting, thermal spray, and bonding. Many of these types involve working with harsh chemicals, hazardous environments, or special conditions. Industrial robots can be configured to meet the requirements of these processes allowing for their successful operation through protective exterior coatings, vision systems
, or meeting specific IP ratings
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