Over the last decade, several industrial and manufacturing industries have begun utilizing collaborative robots (or “cobots”) on a wide variety of tasks to reduce spending while improving efficiency and production. At Monti Inc., we work alongside Universal Robots that meet the basic needs of several of our welding, CNC machining, and machine tending operations. Our cobots improve flexibility and efficiency while also allowing our employees the freedom to multitask without sacrificing quality or safety.
Collaborative Robot Applications
Although the primary uses of cobots at Monti are for CNC machining and welding, they have a variety of applications within the manufacturing industry. From assembly to material handling and quality inspection, Universal Robots offer flexible automation to manufacturers of all sizes. Some common processing tasks that can benefit from the use of automation include:
For businesses interested in optimizing production, cobots can produce repeatable and accurate assembly processes such as screw and nut driving and part fitting and insertion while also improving workplace safety. These robots can handle many materials including metals, plastics, and woods.
Add flexibility, efficiency, and freedom to your welding process by moving cobots where they are needed most. With the versatility to be used for multiple tasks, cobots can handle Arc, TIG, laser, MIG, ultrasonic, plasma, and spot welding in addition to soldering and brazing while working alongside your employees to improve quality and safety.
Collaborative robots are named as such because of their ability to work together with machine operators while relieving those employees from demanding and repetitive tasks. They can tend to a variety of machines such as CNC, injection molding, stamping presses and more.
Automation is being used more and more to combat the rising costs of new product packaging and shortened product life cycles while also helping employers keep up with seasonal labor shortages. From packaging and palletizing to picking and labeling, cobots can make material handling simpler, faster and more efficient.
Since cobots offer a high level of accuracy and consistency they can produce unmatched levels of product quality, which can then be studied and analyzed through precise testing measures that can identify defective or faulty parts before they ever leave your facility.
7 Benefits of Integrating Cobots Into Your Manufacturing Operations
Since collaborative robots do offer an abundance of benefits while also consistently reducing cost thereby improving ROI, they are a viable option for many manufacturers. Unlike standard industrial robots which are meant to operate with minimal human intervention, cobots are ideal for working in tandem with employees to assist on monotonous and potentially dangerous tasks.
#1: Quick and Easy Installation and Programming
Due to their intuitive and user-friendly software, many cobots can be up and running within an hour, effectively eliminating the need for temporary employees or flexible employees that have been moving from task to task to accommodate labor shortages. Since these robots are easily programmed, they can be quickly integrated into existing processes.
#2: Multi-Use Versatility
Although cobots are known for their ability to complete monotonous and repetitive tasks for hours on end without sacrificing precision or quality, they are also flexible and able to be deployed on a wide variety of tasks. They can be optimized for output as needed with minimal set-up or downtime.
#3: Accuracy and Consistency
In addition to performing tasks with a very high degree of accuracy and precision, cobots will also perform these tasks with the same level of power which ensures consistent quality across the board. By removing the risk of human error and eliminating mistakes, cobots offer unmatched reliability.
#4: Increased Efficiency and Productivity
Aside from their inherent ability to improve productivity, cobots fundamentally change the nature of production by playing to the strengths of people and automation. Cobots can take over tasks that humans are unable to perform efficiently and safely while also freeing up those employees to work on more important tasks that require problem-solving and expertise only humans are capable of completing.
#5: Happier, Safer Employees
Most of us can relate to the dissatisfaction that comes with performing boring, repetitive tasks. Not only can monotonous work negatively affect employee happiness, it can also lead to RSI (repetitive strain injury), burnout, and a reduction in concentration – all of which increase the risk of accidents and injuries in the workplace. Relieving employees of these types of jobs can lead to higher levels of job satisfaction, lower absenteeism, and more employee involvement and development.
#6: Waste Reduction and Sustainability
In any manufacturing operation, there are several types of waste that consume resources without adding value. Whether it’s wasted time or wasted materials due to human-induced defects, cobots offer the benefit of sustainability by eliminating inefficiencies while improving productivity and quality output.
Not only are collaborative robots less expensive than industrial robots, but they are also an overall cost-effective investment. Beyond the initial price tag, once you begin factoring in all the benefits mentioned above, the ROI of cobots will make itself evident within a year of purchase.
Making the Most out of Collaborative Robots
By revolutionizing the way these robots can work with humans, manufacturers are able to increase overall equipment productivity and effectiveness. Implementing cobots into their manufacturing strategy and processes can give metal and machining companies an important competitive advantage without additional high costs.