‘Collaborative robots, also referred to as Cobots, are ideal for small and medium-sized companies‘
Cobots are the future and they could transform the way we work and manufacturers like Ford have already jumped on the cobot bandwagon, installing them into their company.
At an average cost of just $24,000 for a cobot, the change these machines bring to a business operations can’t be quantified. This is because anything that lowers production cost helps, as they compete against rivals in low-cost markets. And this importance is heightened as small companies account for about 70 percent of the total global manufacturing.
No wonder cobot sales now comprise five percent of the current global robot sales. And this is expected to increase exponentially, says Tractica, a US-based research firm.
Why are so many companies drawn to Cobots?
There are 5 main reasons why company’s are turning to use Cobots in their workplace.
Although the average cost of a Collaborative Robot is $24,000, they have very fast payback times, typically of just 6 months!
Flexible Deployment is crucial in this day and age, enabling companies to stay competitive within the market, production set-ups must be versatile and flexible.
- Fast Set-up
Unpacking the Cobot, mounting it and programming the first simple tasks typically takes less than an hour, even for untrained operators.
- Simple to Use
Operators with no programming experience can quickly program a Universal Robot, thanks to its clear, in-built 3D visualization.
- Collaborative & Safe
The most appealing feature of Cobots is that they are fully collaborative, meaning that they can along side people with no additional safety guarding!
Cobots: An Evolution of Robots
Traditionally, robots were huge, heavy and unsafe to work with. These characteristics would also mean that you have to fix them onto the ground and secure expensive safety fencing all around them. Further, they also require the input of highly trained programmers to set their tasks. They would be task specific and mounted on the floor. Plus, buying them means you have to allocate a lot of resources including finances, fenced space and programmers to make the tool work.
But, with the new breed of Cobots all of the traditional big and heavy robots are being taken over by smaller more agile robots, that all sizes of companies can afford!
Industrial robot is for a single task
Most industrial robots were programmed for a single task. Thus, you would have to reprogram the robot if you need it for another task or you’d need to buy another robot.
Given this, it would be too costly to invest in a robot if it covers only a limited part of your production process. In most cases, you wouldn’t have the programming knowhow in-house, so you’d have to hire a programmer at a fee. This would be much costlier if you have to make frequent changes.
Collaborative robots – a Panacea!
Universal Robots are leading the industry in Cobots! They don’t require any programming knowledge for them to be be set tasks. All you have to do is move the robot arm in the desired direction and the robot arm will follow that movement to 0.1 mm. The cobot will mimic the movement and get to work!
Moreover, major advances in vision and sensor technology, enable them to detect if you are standing in their way, so they can avoid any collisions with you. It’s this characteristic that deem these robots as collaborative because of their ability to work together with humans and give way when necessary. And since they are mostly smaller in sizes, they can be adapted to virtually any environment.
Aside from being lighter, they are mobile and sometimes as easy to use as a plug and play device. To program these revolutionary robots, you just need a tablet to issue them simple commands, or you can simply move their arms in the required pattern.(there is no coding required to program these contemporary bots)
Summary of industries that can use Cobots
The list of industries where cobots can be used is nearly endless. From food processing to manufacturing, construction to retail, healthcare to chemical industry, the textile to petroleum industry, pharmaceutic to hotel and restaurant industry; the list goes on.
In the image below a Cobot is working in a BMW factory, at a car assembly line can utilising a Universal Robot that assembles the inside components of a door, speeding up accuracy and speed of the task.
In the steel or chemical industry, collaborative robots can safely handle hot or awkward workpieces that would be unsafe for humans to handle. They can also be assigned to low-value repetitve tasks so that technicians can take care of more important jobs.
In a nutshell, Cobots are here to stay, with cooking robots, cleaning robots and so on. Over time. you’ll likely find Cobots in factories, offices or even in your home. Simply look at how each one helps you save time, money and effort and prepare to embrace them and enjoy their benefits.