For many years, numerous companies have been investing in production automation. Recently, automation has increasingly involved the use of an industrial robot or robots in the production line. Which industries utilise robots?
Table of contents:
- Industrial robots – advantages of robotisation
- Manufacturing robots and their types
- Where are robots used? Examples
- Which industries utilise robots? Short summary
Industrial robots – advantages of robotisation
Nowadays, industrial robots are used in almost every industry that involves manufacturing. What is the reason for the growing popularity of robots in manufacturing and why is the number of industrial robots growing every year?
One of the main advantages of applications of industrial robots is that they significantly increase the efficiency of manufacturing processes. Contrary to human beings, robots never tire and do not need breaks. This means that manufacturing operations involving robots can run continuously 24/7.
Manufacturing robots also ensure remarkable precision and repeatability of movements combined with their high speed. Of course, not all robots perform quick moves. Some traditional industrial robots with large and heavy tooling perform their work slowly, due to the large inertial forces accompanying the loads they carry.
The manufacturing industries benefit a lot from the high precision of robots. The repetitive nature of the movements almost eliminates the possibility of producing defective items. This reduces the production costs associated with producing low-quality products.
The advantage that manufacturing robots have over standard non-robotic production lines is their versatility. The right robot, or group of robots, can perform a range of complex operations using a variety of tools. There are different types of industrial robots on the market, so the key to an optimised production process is choosing the right machine.
Robots in manufacturing also translate into increased safety throughout the manufacturing process. A properly prepared and equipped robot can work in conditions that are unfavourable or dangerous for humans.
Another prime example of this are robots transporting materials for production. In the case of a human being, even a small amount of weight lifted dozens or even hundreds of times a day can prove dangerous to a person’s spine. The use of industrial robots allows lifting operations to be performed thousands of times.
Manufacturing robots and their types
As we have already mentioned, there are different types of industrial robots available on the market. Which type is suitable for a particular application depends on several different factors, such as the type of operations to be performed, productivity, tooling load, etc. Below we present robots used by manufacturing industries divided by their design and examples of robot applications.
The most popular are the so-called articulated robots. They consist of segments connected to each other by joints. They usually have as many as six axes of rotation. They are used, among others, in the automotive industry and food preparation industry. Robot applications of this type are, for example, welding, painting or palletising.
The second type of robots, often used by the manufacturing industry, is the so-called Cartesian robots. Taking their name from their working space, they can perform movements in line with the axes of the Cartesian system: left-right, front, back and up-down. They can be found, for example, in the healthcare industry. They are often used for packing products and moving them from place to place.
Other types of industrial robots include, for example, so-called SCARA robots. They consist of two rotating segments and a rotating shaft that moves vertically. Due to their design, SCARA-type robots are used by every manufacturing industry where it is necessary to move products from place to place.
Other common manufacturing robots are so-called delta robots. These are ceiling-mounted units, above the production line. They consist of a base to which 3 articulated arms are attached, connected together at the end by a flange to which a gripper is usually attached. The applications of the delta robots are similar to the SCARA robots described above. Delta robots are used extensively by the healthcare industry, food preparation industry and agriculture industry.
Where are robots used? Examples
Which industries utilise robots? Responding that in all of them would not be an exaggeration in this case. Robots have been taking every manufacturing industry by storm for years now. Today, robots not only weld and paint car bodies, but are also used, for example, by the agriculture industry to sort vegetables. Their applications are almost endless, so it is impossible to simply and briefly enumerate all applications of industrial robots.
We have already mentioned that the automotive industry is one of the examples of using robots in manufacturing. Another industry that makes extensive use of their capabilities is the manufacture of household appliances and audio/video devices as well as electronics in the broadest sense. Thanks to the high precision of industrial robots, they are ideally suited to the production and assembly of complex integrated circuits. The furniture industry is also using the services of robots. They are used for material handling as well as cutting and varnishing furniture components.
Which industries, in addition to those mentioned above, utilise robots? Due to their ability to withstand working in harmful conditions, they are used in the metallurgical, chemical and plastics processing industries. They are used for dosing harmful substances, mixing or handling finished products with very high temperatures.
Industrial robots are also about production cleanliness, which is why they are perfect for the food and pharmaceutical industries, where it is of utmost importance that the product is sterile before it is packaged. Robots are used for sorting products, closing packages and many other operations.
Which industries utilise robots? Short summary
To sum up, industrial robots nowadays are found in almost every manufacturing plant. The reasons behind their ever-growing popularity include: high precision, the ability to work without interruption, resistance to working in harmful conditions and the ease of cleaning. This set of features is the reason why almost all manufacturing industries are now using robots.
If you would like to implement a robotic application in your business or if have any doubts as to whether this type of solution will work for your business, please use the contact form on our website. Our experts will certainly clarify all your doubts and help you choose the best solution for your company.