The automotive manufacturing industry is one of the most reliant on automation and robotics. The caged robots have been a mainstay in the industry for a while now, but with the current trends in the robotics industry, collaborative robots are increasingly gaining a foothold in automotive manufacturing.
As an industry heavily reliant on robots, the automotive industry already has more experience in robot assembly than many other industries that are just getting in to automation through the use of cobots.
According to a recent robotics industry research, the use and sale of collaborative robots will surpass that of traditional robots. Further research has shown that, instead of cobots taking away jobs from the human workers, they will be used as an efficiency improving tool in many production processes.
It is expected that by the year 2030, robot assembly will be 50% of the production process in automotive manufacturing due the changes in customer preferences and product use.
Listed are some of the advantages that cobots will deliver for automotive manufacturers.
By using collaborative robots in their manufacturing processes, automotive manufacturers will see increased efficiency. This will be as a result of the increased production speeds that will be accrued by the incorporation of cobots.
In addition to speed, cobots deliver improved efficiency to automotive manufacturing by increasing the quality of the parts used to manufacture a vehicle. With their high levels of precision, processes such as screwing in or welding vehicle parts together will be highly efficient and accurate reducing manufacturer recalls or consumer complaints.
Enhanced employee retention and satisfaction
Collaborative robots enable automotive manufacturers to retain their employees and to provide a working environment in which they are highly satisfied. This is quite rare.
These conditions are present as a result of employees having ergonomically unfavorable conditions taken over by the cobots.
This ensures that the work they carry out in the process of vehicle assembly is highly creative work, rather than highly strenuous activities that may lead to injuries and many days off work and increased insurance payments as a result of injuries suffered by employees.
Collaborative robots can perform multiple tasks in the automotive manufacturing process. This is enabled by their high capacity to learn. Cobots are easily taught how to perform production activities.
One of the ways that cobots can be taught is manually. Here, the cobot operator holds it and takes it through the motions of completing a single work process. Thereafter, the robot can carry out the job on its own.
Secondly, cobot can be programmed with instructions to carry out a task. Cobots are significantly easy to use and that includes their programming. Equipped with initial cobot use training, any factory worker can become a cobot operator and programmer with ease.
Thirdly, cobots have the capacity to learn by machine learning. Here robots observe what the human workers are doing and practice over and over until they are able to replicate the process and even be faster and more accurate than human beings.
Multiple applications use for collaborative robots in robotic assembly
Collaborative robots provide flexibility to automotive manufacturing processes by the fact they have the ability to perform multiple tasks in the factory.
With the multiple ways they can learn, collaborative robots are able to learn a multitude of tasks. They can learn how to weld different parts together, paint, screw and assemble multiple vehicle parts with extremely high levels of precision.
In addition, collaborative robots can be easily moved around the factory. This allows them the capacity to be at different parts of the factory carrying out different tasks.
Collaboration with other robots
Cobots not only collaborate with human workers. Rather they have the capability to collaborate with other collaborative robots. As a result, automotive manufacturers can acquire several robots to collaborate among themselves. This will help increase efficiency in the production of highly customized parts and allow the factory the flexibility to change with changing customer tastes and preferences.