Robots have become a mainstay in production activities, and research shows that this trend is likely to advance. As a result, various industries have started paying attention to robots, and they see them as the path that can advance their widespread automation endeavors.
Robots are outstanding in that they can easily dominate production tasks that were previously done by manual operators and perform the tasks well. In addition, these machines come embedded with safety features such as crash control and power response.
These security features found in machines such as assembly line robots allow them to work alongside manual operators. Robots can execute tasks allocated to them either fully autonomously or semi-autonomously.
In production lines, you will find that these machines are allocated various tasks. This discussion will look at some of these tasks, why these machines are deployed in production lines, and how these machines can protect blue-collar jobs.
The Tasks Allocated to Robots in Production Include:
Pick and Place Tasks
Pick and place tasks can be very dangerous for manual operators because they are highly tedious and strenuous tasks. This can often lead to mistakes from the manual operator. The nature of these tasks can also cause operators bodily harm.
Machines, on the other hand, are ideal for pick and place tasks. They don’t suffer from exhaustion or depletion of energy levels. Mechanical robots can pick an item from one side and place it on another without dropping or breaking the piece.
Palletizing is the act of stacking components or boxes on top of each other with a bed below them. These tasks can be done manually or involve robots to be then known as mechanized palletizing. Robots can be valuable options for palletizing because they are automated and can repeat the process repeatedly without getting tired.
Palletizing needs machines that have an extensive range and payload. The robot should also have conveyor functionality to synchronize with the conveyor belts in the production line. These are very tedious tasks that make them ideal for assembly line robots.
Machine tending, also known as mechanized, powered, or automated tending, is loading and unloading a machine with fragments of material. Manual operators do most machine tending tasks in companies.
However, the task is not ideal for manual operators because it involves standing in front of the machine being tended for significant periods of time, thereby causing fatigue. On the other hand, machines don’t suffer from fatigue, and they can move in and replace manual operators.
Processing tasks involve a machine coming into contact with a workpiece. Examples of such tasks include welding and gluing. These tasks are somewhat complex and take manual operators a lot of time to master and execute flawlessly.
On the other hand, robots can perform these tasks well because they need to process one item and then repeat the process on all other items. Moreover, robots can repeat the process because they can be programmed with CAD techniques.
Manual operators execute finishing tasks with various tools. Finishing tasks need a significant amount of force to accomplish. In addition, these tools used in finishing tasks produce a vibration that isn’t safe for manual operators.
On the other hand, assembly line robots can deliver the utmost precision and force required in finishing tasks. Moreover, being that robots are inorganic, they aren’t affected by vibrations. Robots execute finishing tasks better because they can be programmed using computers.
The quality analysis involves comparing the exactness of finished components against CAD designs to see if the quality is the same. Machines can perform quality analysis using multi-pixel cameras that take very detailed images and evaluate the parts’ quality.
Why Are Robots Deployed in Production Tasks?
Robots Can Operate 24-hour Basis.
Manual operators will clock out at the end of their shifts and go home. Robots, on the other hand, can be programmed to work continuously without any hiccups. These machines can function with the lights off.
This is ideal for production facilities because more items can be made shorter, which boosts profit. After all, the supply of parts in the market is high.
Robots are Versatile
Robots are very versatile compared to manual operators. A machine can perform assembly line tasks and move on to perform packaging tasks as well. To have manual operators executing more than one complex task requires them to be trained, which involves time and money.
Robots Give Producers a Competitive Edge
Manufacturers need robots to remain relevant and outdo the competition. Industries that use robots can produce better products within a shorter period. Such economies of scale are tough to compete against.
Robots Boost Efficiency
Deploying robots in production enhances the efficiency of the production tasks by coming up with innovative and better ways of doing things. Efficiency begins with the handling of raw materials to finally package finished parts.
How Can Robots Protect Manual Jobs?
Sharing Tasks with Manual Operators
Machines can protect the relevance of manual operators by working alongside them in the completion of production tasks. This is vital because if either the machine or the operator makes an error, the other party can move in and make the necessary adjustments.
Creating New Jobs
Machines have rendered some manual jobs redundant however they have also created new opportunities in machine operation, machine tending, and programming.
Enhancing Safety in The Workplace
One of the main reasons manufacturers buy robots is to perform repetitive tasks considered otherwise dangerous to manual operators.
To allow these machines to work alongside manual operators and not just replace them, robots have sensors that inform the machine when an operator is close by and at risk of harm. The robot will then turn off immediately or set off an alarm.
All in all, robots are very crucial in a lot of production tasks. These machines enable companies to match demand and supply. Robots are also vital in ensuring that the roles of manual operators in production do not become obsolete.