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Photo: ABB, Robots weld cars in an assembly line.
Robots have been in manufacturing for quite a while and are often featured in the latest car commercials. Our workforce has grown accustomed to the tireless work they can perform. Now the next step in the evolution of our workforce is here, the Cobot.
Photo: ABB, A cobot working side by side with a human to assemble electronic components.
What is a cobot?
A collaborative robot, or cobot, is designed to work in unison with a human counterpart. They are light weight, flexible and can easily be reprogrammed to solve new tasks. This allows manufacturing to accommodate short runs with increased efficiency. The cobot is designed to do the repetitive and precise motions to help assist workers. Their best uses include kitting of multiple components into packages, component assembly, and packing of fragile materials.
Traditional 6-axis robots allow manufacturers to run at faster rates and handle heavier objects. Robots work 24/7 and perform tasks that would put stress on a human worker. With traditional robots, the capital costs for the robots themselves account for only 25 to 30% of the total system costs. The remaining costs are associated with robot programming, setup, and dedicated, shielded work cells.
Collaborative robots move at slower speeds and have lower payloads, making them more appropriate for working with lower weight materials. Being “collaborative” allows workers to be side by side next to the robot with no safety guard between them. Cobots are optimized to be used out of the box with simple touch screens or by simply grabbing and guiding the robot arm to demonstrate desired movement.
The “out of box experience” with a collaborative robot is typically less than an hour. That’s the time it takes to unpack the robot, mount it, and program the first simple task. The average payback or ROI could be as little as 195 days in the right manufacturing environment.
Whether you choose a traditional robot or a cobot your manufacturing facility can realize the following benefits -
Rocket Industrial continues to expand our knowledge, our team, and our partnerships to be able to provide you the best products and solutions for your specific need. We have the ability to integrate diverse building blocks to create the most efficient solution for you to make automating a simple, turnkey process. Contact our engineering team to get started.