One of the most touted industrial technologies today is robot machine tending. The use of robots instead of humans to handle materials and operate machines in factories is slowly gaining momentum as companies seek to remain profitable in places where labor costs are high.
The following are some of the advantages of relying on robot machine tending in your production process as seen from real-world case studies:
Increased Quality andStandardization
Using robots to handle raw materials and operate machines leads to a significant improvement in the quality and standardization of end products. Unlike humans, robots can make very accurate judgmentsas they move material from machine to machine using sensors. This means a machine is less likely to make errors in production either through fatigue or poor judgment.
At the same time, a robotproduces standardized products through consistency and repeatable preciseness. Every machining job, be it welding, painting, ormolding, will be the same as the previous. This is a great advantage for many reasons for machining shops and factories where product standardization impacts on cost and competitiveness.
Robot Machine Tending Addresses Labor Challenges
For most manufacturers today, the issue of staff shortages or staff turnover can be the difference between making profits and staring at bankruptcy. This is especially true in Europe and North America, where factory jobs are not very popular and attract all manner of issues such as labor disputes, high labor, and insurance costs, among others.
In truth, the increased adoption of robot machine tending in factories and small machining shops is a welcome relief for western companies. We already see rapid adoption and innovation in Europe’s automotive manufacturing sectors for robot machine tending. So far, it is believed that robot machine tending can cut labor demand by over 40%, a figure that is predicted to double in the next five years in industrialized countries.
Reduced Costs and Better ROIs
As compared to manual machine tending, robot machine tending reduces overhead costs by a significant margin. The initial cost might be high as expected. Still,robot machine tending has been proven to have a very immediate ROI as production is increased, and errors reduced.
In the long term, robot machine tending tends to cut overhead costs by over 70% as it eliminates the many costs associated with manual machine tending. For instance, a company using robots for machine tending will spend less on insurancesince robots aren’t at risk of getting injured. Similarly, robots do not need vacations or overtime payments to stay productive. Controversial as it may sound, employing robots is of great benefit to any company in today’s work environment.
As with any type of automation, robot machine tending can have an immediate impact on production. With the right setup, robots can attend to many machines on a factory floor and do it for more extended periods (mostly 24 hours),thus giving the company a bigger production capacity. Some manufacturers report production increases of over 40% when they deploy robot machine tending in their facilities.
With modern robot arms, it’s also easier for machining shops to respond to demand by redeploying or reconfiguring robots to increase or decrease production speeds as required. For instance, it would take a simple command or addition of an extra robot to double production during high season.
Addresses SpatialandErgonomic Requirements
It’s possible to deploy a robot in acompact robot machine tending cell with ergonomics and other spatial requirements such as pathways and other comforts out of the way. This is a significant advantage formachining shops where every inch of factory real estate is premium and probably has to be paid for by square inches. It’s not uncommon to see the machine tendingrobots lined up next to each other from cell to cell, something that would be impossible to achieve with manual machine tending.
Robot machine tending has many more benefits that have not been covered here as they tend to be specific to a particular application. As wemove into industry 4.0, all signs point to the future factory being built around robot machine tending as opposed to manual machine tending.