In the last few years, there has been a lot of changes in how products are made. Consumer preferences are changing fast and as a result, manufacturers have to adapt to these changes and ensure that their products are aligned.
Secondly, manufacturers are not able to fill all their available manufacturing jobs as a result of a skill deficiency. It is estimated that, in the next decade, there will be over are over two million manufacturing job opportunities that will be unfilled in the US.
With this in mid, manufacturers are turning to automation and as such are increasingly adopting robot assembly for their production processes.
Robots are not a new thing in industry. With the advancement of technology, traditional robots are being faced out and now manufacturers are acquiring the much cheaper and easier to use collaborative robots.
Why are collaborative robots finding their way into numerous manufacturing operations?
They are relatively cheap to acquire
Compared to traditional robots, collaborative robots are substantially cost friendly. Most manufacturers will find them affordable and will hence acquire them to enhance their production capacity.
The cost of acquiring a collaborative robot, compared to that of a traditional robot is quite minimal. Consequently, manufacturers find it more cost effective and easy to acquire them to fill their needs for labor and increase their ability to adapt to changing consumer tastes and preferences.
For smaller firms that find acquiring a cobot expensive, it is possible to acquire one and pay for it by the hour. This method of acquisition is much cheaper and enables organizations to increase their production and eventually gain the financial muscle to possess their own cobot.
They provide flexibility
Collaborative robots provide to manufacturers flexibility in the assembly process. Collaborative robots have the ability to carry out numerous types of tasks within the factory. This is because they can be easily programed or instructed on how to carry out the different processes. In addition, they can be fitted with external apertures that enhance their capacity to perform more than one task in the factory.
Secondly, collaborative robots unlike human workers can work without the need for breaks. As a result, a task that can be easily automated by the robots is left to them and thus enhances the production capacity of the factory as the cobots are also very fast and accurate in their production process.
They are easy to use
Mostly collaborative robots are plug and play. Once they are assembled at their place or work station and are programmed accordingly they are ready to start earning their keep.
Manufacturing companies also do not need to hire specialized programmers to look after the robots, no. A well trained factory worker can easily understand and adopt the role of robot programmer.
Secondly, moving about is easy. There are specialized trolley-like carriers that are suitable for the movement of the collaborative robots into different parts of the factory. This enhances factories’ ability to use one robot for numerous tasks all around the factory.
Unlike traditional robots, modern collaborative robots do not necessarily require caging. They are quite safe to use alongside other human employees as a result of their advanced inherent safety features. In addition, they occupy a small space within the factory floor and are energy efficient.
As a result of these few factors and others, collaborative robots are increasing in popularity in the manufacturing industry. It is estimated that by 2021, the market for collaborative robots will be worth about $1 billion dollars from a mere $94 million in 2014.
Their affordability, ease of use and the flexibility they provide are the driving forces of their growth and increasing use. In addition, they are easy to automate and the return on investment on acquiring them can be enjoyed within a few years of acquiring one unlike the expensive traditional robots.
The future of manufacturing looks bright and better as a result of increased robot assembly.