Since the first robot arm was introduced to the industrial world in the 1960s, robotics has been a constant feature in manufacturing and assembly lines. The age of automated manufacturing has revolutionized production, with robots helping to reduce margins of error and improve precision.
Note that this new era of robotic manufacturing isn’t just limited to production lines-the impeccable precision has also made it possible for medical practitioners to use this equipment in sensitive surgeries as well as programmed drug dispensing.
In practice, the integration of robotics into manufacturing circles has become a natural partnership, eliminating low-level, repetitive tasks and allowing the human workforce to concentrate on more critical aspects of the production line. There are some concerns, however.
The fact that robots are faster and produce better results points toward a time when the human workforce may become obsolete. Industry specialists have answered these concerns via collaborative robots designed to work with human personnel rather than replace them.
Robots perform high-risk, undesirable jobs that are a hazard to human health, effectively creating a safer working environment. So what does industry automation offer? An what are the reasons why you should consider manufacturing with robots?
With the proper programming, robots can handle any task several times. Some parts are too small for the human eye to assemble. Think of a machining utility that never has to worry about dropping tools, damaging products, or making basic mistakes. Robotic grippers never make mistakes, and they can perform the same repetitive task without losing focus.
Robots don’t require breaks or rest periods. They operate 24 hours a day and produce the same degree of efficiency all the way through. They can also be programmed to perform a series of different tasks. These capabilities make them versatile and cost-effective, mainly because you don’t have to hire a larger workforce for particular production tasks.
While previous varieties of robots were only equipped to perform elemental pick and drop functions, modern ones are highly flexible, easily programmable, easy to use, and run complex manufacturing and assembly functions. Modern collaborative robots perform complex orthopedic surgeries, making them a revolutionary utility.
Automation is here to stay. For those who embrace this and invest in manufacturing with robots, the market will be in your favor. Robots are faster, smarter, and better equipped to ensure your production line operates optimally. In principle, this ensures that you produce more within a shorter period. Robots will allow you to establish and maintain a competitive edge simply because they generate better quality overall.
Robots are expensive. The cheapest collaborative robots require an initial investment of between $35000-$100000. However, it is critical to assess the cost-to-benefit factor before writing robots off as capital-intensive.
Think of it this way, a robot will perform a list of tasks much faster, more accurately, and at a fraction of the time, it would take a human worker. Improved precision means better quality. Essentially, in the long run, a robot will repay your investment by improving your production capacity, making your operations more cost-effective.
While many robots today are still being used to perform undesirable tasks, the increase in sophistication may elevate them to more complex tasks previously performed by skilled human labor. This means that soon, there is a slight possibility that robots will replace humans on factory floors. These are all genuine concerns. Experts have given a few reasons robots will NOT eliminate human labor anytime soon.
By taking away menial, risky and undesirable work, robots allow manufacturers to create more desirable jobs in skilled areas such as management, engineering, and maintenance. People who used to perform these menial tasks can now move to a variety of other, better job descriptions.
The principal aim of production is to maximize workers’ skills. Robots help achieve this end by shifting workers from repetitive, unskilled labor to more intellectually demanding operations on the factory floor. In principle, these robots allow more workers to maximize their skills by performing tasks better suited to their skill level.
Robots also create a system that emphasizes the need for skilled workers. As they take over menial tasks, they create a space for workers to train in skilled labor and bridge the shortfall in many industries. The argument here is that as much as robots in manufacturing eliminate undesirable tasks, they compensate by creating more skilled labor. They also free up personnel, giving the factory floor more hands to work.
Despite being flexible, durable, accurate, and convenient in high-volume production, robots have a few more perks that you should know.
l As a company, robots give you the rare advantage of global competitiveness through higher throughput. This feature means that you can produce in higher volumes. With this in mind, you can seek larger contracts and tenders from large corporations. High-volume production puts your company on the map and establishes you as a high-stakes competitor.
Robots also offer a guaranteed return on investment. The initial integration costs may be high, but the improvement in production capacity makes it a worthy investment. The estimated period is usually between 1-2 years, at which point the robot offsets the initial investment.
Robots are environmentally friendly, safe, and cleaner manufacturing protocols. These robots can operate without lighting and do not require fossil fuels to work effectively. Robots have no carbon footprints and are environmentally sound.
Lastly, robots in manufacturing improve capacity exponentially. For this reason, domestic companies can compete at the highest level with offshore enterprises. Think about reduced margins of error, better safety, and maximum efficiency. Robots also offer the rare value of bridging the skills gap that has been an immense problem for industries over the years.
While many companies are integrating robotic manufacturing for high-volume production, it is critical to note that robots are also perfectly suited for complex operations. In this regard, it is essential to establish how best robots will serve your company and take you to the next level.
Note also that robots are now cheaper and affordable for consumer use. If you are still debating the value of robotic integration, know that it will transform your business. Now is the time to do it.