Cobot arm

Redefining Manufacturing Strategies

 

Industrial automation is one of the top global industries, with its value expected to exceed $200 billion in the next 5 years. As the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, many anticipate the need for automation technology to increase. Industrial automation technology, specifically robots, are typically associated with operating in large automotive manufacturing plants. With the development of collaborative robots, or “cobots”, medium to small size businesses can also greatly benefit from automation technology.

 

Invented around 1996, cobots were specifically designed to safely interact alongside or work directly with humans, unlike traditional robots which are designed to work autonomously and away from human workers. Cobots are small and user-friendly. Several advantages to switching to cobot automation include:

 

  • Lower operating costs
  • Improved production quality
  • Decreased human error
  • Increased production speed
  • Enhanced process synchronization
  • Improved scalability

 

A cobots’ most critical advantage is that they can be easily programmed by operators, either using tablets with visual programming software or by physically moving the robot in the desired path. In this way, efficient automation is easily adopted into small businesses where resources to hire a traditional robot programmer are limited. Access to cobot technology that is easy to operate allows more automation technology companies to collaborate and further enhance cobot functions.

 

Machine Vision for Smarter Collaboration

 

You may already know about machine vision and how it can be applied to industrial automotive robots to expand their capabilities; maybe you’re wondering if your process could be automated using cobots? Or if 3D machine vision sensors can be installed into cobot systems?

 

The answer is, yes.

 

Collaborative robots are efficient, reliable, and dependable, but also totally blind. They are designed to do specific jobs in very specific paths, but do not adjust to the location of the part they interact with. There are often inconsistencies with part location, which leads to errors as the part moves further down the line. Machine vision sensors can be added to cobot systems to give them advanced 3D sight in order to reduce errors.

 

Liberty Reach vision systems quickly and efficiently produce offsets in milliseconds. The data is then sent directly to the cobot to adjust the work path. This ultimately decreases cycle time and increases throughput. By providing users with a variety of functions and applications, cobots are redefining how companies of all sizes can utilize automation methods.

 

Contact Liberty Reach for more information about adding the reliability and efficiency of robot vision to a cobot system.