Collaborative Robots in Manufacturing

Manufactures aim to be productive, flexible, nimble, and more adaptable to the market in order to stay competitive in the business world. However, there are plenty of roadblocks, which tend to hinder the achievement of maximum productivity and efficiency. They include, labor shortages, high wage/salary demands by workers and increased demand for personalized products. To solve these issues, many manufacturers are turning towards automation.

Universal robots has taken the initiative of providing a lasting solution in the industrial automation by coming up with game changing collaborative robots. Also known as cobots, they are very flexible, easy to program and safe to operate. Unlike the traditional robots that were big and costly to buy and maintain, the cobots from Universal robots are relatively small but very efficient.

Universal robots offers three varieties of collaborative robots, the difference being the weight of payload each type of cobot can handle. They are the Universal UR3, universal UR5 and UR10 with a payload of three kilograms, five kilograms and ten kilograms respectively.

Automation in manufacturing

Collaborative roots have recently become an essential competitive differentiator, which is making manufacturing companies much more agile and responsive to market demand.

With more than 12000 cobots from Universal Robots in use by numerous industries worldwide, it proves that integration of collaborative robots into the existing production environments has been successful. Let us look at two cases of how the cobots have been helpful in the manufacturing and production industry.

In automobile manufacturing

The use of the Universal Robot in the robotic automobile manufacturing has helped achieve the desired results in the industry.  Since the cobots are very efficient in all types of tasks that depend on high quality and precision, they are useful in the following applications, screw driving, assembling, labeling, engine foundries, and laser-cutting rigs, packaging and palletizing lines.

One example of a company that uses cobots from Universal Robots is LEAX. LEAX is a Swedish contract manufacturer that deals in making automobile parts for heavy vehicles such as drive shafts, main shafts, input and output shafts, drill bits and industrial gearboxes. Since they manufacture a variety of products that require small volumes, some of up to100, 000 units, they need a quick execution and focus during production.

After acquiring three UR10 robots for changing bits and for loading and unloading, they have successfully optimized production. LEAX appreciates the flexibility of their cobots because if they decide to stop making a certain product, the cobots can perform other tasks. They consider this a great return of investment.

Metal and machining industry

The collaborative robots have also been of great help in the metal and machining industry. Stantraek Company from Denmark is one of the companies in this industry that uses cobots. Having invested in two UR5 robots, the company has been able to expand its production and significantly increase their revenue.

With only twenty-eight workers, the company has managed to solve their previous shortcoming of winning job bids since it was facing severe competition from Eastern European countries that have lower wage requirements. By having the cobots, they now have a competitive advantage without the need of employing many workers compared to their competitors thus minimizing their expenses.

One of their UR5 robots is able to produce mechanical components; the first step is to put them in a stamping machine and later in a box. The cobot can successfully place 300 items in a box per hour. This has greatly increased their production level and ensuring a fast payback of a year by the cobots.

Summary

Universal Robots has enabled the collaboration between robots and the human labor force in order to achieve maximum productivity, by making affordable and easy to program robots. This enables manufactures to benefit from the consistency of quality and smooth workflow that automation provides while their workers concentrate on more tactical tasks, hence combining the best of both worlds.

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