Robots have been assisting with manufacturing for many decades. Car companies used the first manufacturing robots. They were much simpler than the robotic systems of today, and they could only handle a narrow range of tasks.
Modern robotic systems are much more capable. They can work with greater precision, and they have expanded far beyond the manufacture of automobiles. We are even starting to see robots pop up in our everyday lives or in industries like healthcare.
When it comes to robots in manufacturing, many people fail to recognize the full benefits of these machines. You might even hear people commonly expressing negative opinions of manufacturing robots. This usually follows along the lines of people being worried about robots taking over too many human jobs.
These worries are unfounded for the most part. Robots might take some jobs, but they also create jobs. Along with that, the benefits of robotic manufacturing outweigh the negatives in most circumstances. What are the benefits of robots in the manufacturing process? Read on to find out!
Safer Manufacturing Facilities
Workplace safety should be a concern for businesses in all industries. With that said, manufacturing can come with severe hazards. You can have heavy machines that exert incredible forces on objects. Processes can require moving heavy materials. Some processes might require the handling of hazardous or harmful materials.
Robots can help relieve some of these safety issues. In many cases, you can protect human workers by having a machine do the work. Human workers won’t have to work around hazardous materials or substances. They won’t have to handle heavy objects that could injure them if something goes wrong. This will make for a safer workplace with fewer injuries.
Robotic systems can increase the output of a facility. They tend to be faster at individual tasks when compared to humans. A machine can also work without taking breaks. If a company needs them to, robots can work 24 hours a day. They can work weekends and holidays. The machines might only need downtime for things like system maintenance. Robots are the best solution for most businesses looking to maximize output at manufacturing facilities.
Cleanliness and Contamination Control
Some manufacturing processes are very sensitive to contamination. You may also have processes for the production or packaging of food or drugs. If people are ingesting the product, cleanliness is paramount. While humans can do this work, machines can make it easier to maintain a sterile work environment and prevent contamination.
Take the machines from Cavanna, for example. They make robotic packaging machines for everything from baked goods to pharmaceuticals. The machines not only excel at packaging the products quickly but they are made to be easy to clean. Along with that, they prevent many of the contamination issues that could arise if humans were doing the work.
Reduce Human Error
Skilled humans can do great work, but they are also prone to error. With robots, most of these errors can be eliminated. For example, CNC machines can control robotic arms to work with great precision when fabricating parts. This can save time by ensuring fewer errors and increasing the reliability of the parts being made. This is even more critical when you are making parts that could be vital for the safety of consumers. It can also make it easier to create products that require precision down to the microscopic level.
Using robotics in manufacturing can also be a way to save precious resources. When humans work, they might not always be able to use a resource to its fullest. For example, they might not be able to cut as many pieces out of the same sheet of metal in a factory. With robots, you can optimize the process to get the most from your materials.
Robots can also help conserve materials in other ways as well. Fewer issues with human error will result in less material being wasted. You won’t have to throw poorly crafted items in the scrap heap. Robots can also save energy. An automated machine can monitor and optimize its operation to be more efficient. In some cases, they might be able to work without light. Since they work faster, they might be able to generate more output while consuming less energy.
While robots will require a large upfront investment, they can help a business cut costs. If you are reducing waste as it concerns materials and energy, your business will save money. If a robot can provide the output of multiple human workers, you can decrease the costs associated with labor. Since robots can also take on dangerous jobs, a business can save money as it concerns workers’ compensation costs.