Assembly Robots

Assembly production often involves the task of forming or joining multiple parts together which can be a tedious job that requires precision and speed. Robotic assembly or robot assembly is when an industrial robot is used to automate this process. Robotic assembly is especially useful when a process is very tedious or repetitive. The robot is integrated with end of arm tooling allowing it to perform the desired operation. The process can be automated using a single robot in which a human removes and replaces the item being assembled or having another robot remove and replace the part. Because of this many manufacturers are turning to robots to automate their operations making assembly one of the most common types of robotic applications.

Benefits of Robotic Assembly

Industries such as aerospace, automotive, medical, and technology have been turning to assembly robots like the FANUC M20ia because they recognize the benefits far out way the costs. These benefits include:

assembly robots
  • Reliability- Assembly line robots eliminate the risk of human error by being able to complete tasks over and over without tiring. With the accuracy of programming quality increased manufacturers can be confident they are consistently turning out high quality products.

  • Productivity- Six axis robots can work around the clock 24/7 eliminating any down time due to breaks or work hours. This allows companies to produce more in a shorter period of time. Robots are able to operate over 100,000 plus hours which is estimated to be about 40 years for human workers. Faster production means more products are reaching consumers in a shorter timeframe.

  • Precision- articulated robots are able to complete tasks that are often too intricate for humans. This is why industries such as medical device and technology have incorporated robots, such as the ABB IRB 2600/20 in their production line because these devices often involve the joining of small parts.

  • Flexibility- In an era where product life cycles are short lived or changed in the drop of a hat, robots can keep manufacturers flexible to adapt to these changes. Assembly line robots are reprogrammable to be able to handle multiple variations in a product line as well as any design changes. If a product line is discontinued companies are not at a loss because industrial robots can be reconfigured for another product family. There is no need to pay for employee retraining or the purchase of new equipment because they are easily adaptable. The FANUC M10ia can be converted from robotic assembly to a robotic welder with a simple software change and integration of a welding supply. There are many types of robots that can handle a variety of environments including, but not limited to: cleanroom, cold, hot, or noisy. Not all work environments are suitable or safe for employees or other types of manufacturing equipment.

  • Cost Reduction- Adding a Yaskawa Motoman MH50 to your operations can lower costs which is perhaps the most important benefit to companies that assembly line robots provide. Robots are low maintenance, usually only needing re-greasing and battery changes both of which have minimal expenses. The elimination of worker training, errors, and misuse of time all means more money for the manufacturer. Because robots offer an off-the-shelf solution while increasing quality and quantity businesses often see their return on investment quickly.

Assembly Robot Types

Types of assembly robots include six-axis arms, SCARA or Selective Compliance Articulated Robot Arm, and the speedy Delta robot configuration. Vision systems such as 2D and 3D can help robots like the KUKA KR 16 with assembly operations by locating parts and translating for the robot how to fit pieces together. Tool changers can also aide with assembly applications by helping robots adapt to various gripper or end effector types needed for the production of different part sizes. Advances in robot technology are driving manufacturers to incorporate assembly applications in order to increase efficiency while decreasing costs.

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Used Assembly Robots

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