Robots are making the transition into more complex applications, such as drilling, due to their unmatched precision and accuracy. The automation of drilling applications involves the use of robotics to make precise holes on a workpiece. Drilling robots can be integrated with EOAT (end-of-arm tooling) that is customized to the specific requirements of the drilling application. Advances in machine vison, pattern recognition, and force sensor technology have made robots like the FANUC M-900ia/260L ideal candidates for any drilling job.
Manual drilling can be laborious, time consuming, and often involves the operation of heavy drilling equipment. Adding an ABB IRB 6640-235/2.55 can help manufacturers cut done on production time due to its speed and accuracy. Robots are able to replicate the same results over and over with no deviation. Manual drilling can be prone to errors such as drilling the wrong sized hole or drilling in the wrong spot. This results in wasted materials and money for manufacturers. Faster production time and increased accuracy decreases costs for companies. With lower operational costs manufacturers are able to see a quicker ROI and increase profits.
Drilling robots are able to work around the clock with no breaks, unlike human workers. Workers need training which can cost companies time, but drilling robots offer an off the shelf solution and are easily programmed to meet the job requirements. Drilling jobs can be hazardous to human workers as dust or other particles resulting from the drilling can come in contact with them. Adopting robots for drilling removes the safety risk for workers as they can be moved to more comfortable work environments.
All these advantages are reasons why conventional industrial industries are adopting drilling robotics to their productions. These industries include automotive, aerospace, and electronics to name a few. Often the process of drilling in these fields involves parts made of materials that require a tremendous amount of force to break through. This can be difficult to do manually, not to mention exhausting for the worker. Drilling applications may also require multiple steps and drills, whereas a robot can complete the task in one step saving incredible amounts of time. For example, the fuselage of a plane needs thousands of holes drilled. This simply is not feasible for a human to do and would take much longer than the amount of time of a robot like the Yaskawa Motoman HP165.
Drilling robots can also be found in unconventional settings like the medical industry and the oil industry. In the medical field drilling robotics is being adopted to assist surgeons with brain surgery by drilling holes into a patient’s skull. The accuracy and precision provided by a robot is no match for even a surgeon with the steadiest of hands, reducing the risk of medical malpractice.
Recently manufacturers in the oil and gas industry have been looking for ways to reduce costs and increase worker safety. This has led to the incorporation of robotics for off-shore drilling. Moving workers out of the hazardous environment of the drill floor and moving robots in has increased operation efficiency. Production time has decreased along with costs all while oil producers are reducing the risks of harming workers and the surrounding environment thanks to drilling robots.