Robots have left the pages of sci-fi novels and integrated various areas of human lives. And they are definitely here to stay, especially in the smart manufacturing sector.
Robotic production lines are the ‘lifeblood’ of it and they become more irreplaceable by the day. It’s true that this technology still needs a lot of advancement. However, even as they are today, robots are necessary for the further development of industrial manufacturing.
Why Industrial Robots Are a Necessity Today
Industrial robots provide smart factories everything that makes them smart. They are the ‘hands’ of the Industrial Internet of Things. As they will become more advanced, they will boost the efficiency of the manufacturing process further. This shall both save resources and increase productivity, which are the main goals of any manufacturer.
The best thing about the automation of the production process is that it increases the efficiency and productivity of people working in the factories as well. They get an opportunity to dedicate more time to the tasks that can’t be performed by machines, such as management and monitoring. This, in turn, reduces human error and decreases the risks of equipment failure. The result is that both humans and machines work together covering for each other’s weaknesses and bringing out each other’s strength.
The use of industrial robotics also allows for a greater level of customization of both the factory design and product. As customization is essential in any project nowadays, the majority of industrial manufacturing orders are unique. The ability to bring innovative ideas to life and produce them efficiently is the most important benefit of using advanced industrial robotics.
The robots of today are already able to break down the limitations that the factories of just a decade ago had to work under. The reason why Industry 4.0 is so greatly affected by the technological progress is that technology is what makes its development possible. Industrial robots used in smart factories are literally shaping the future enabling the manufacturers to use both their supplies and employees more efficiently.
How Industrial Robotics Can Advance Today
Considering their importance for the manufacturing industry, the demand for specialized robotics grows by the day. However, this technology is not that advanced just yet. The main issue here seems to be that the advancement of this specific branch of robotics seems to lack both focus and direction.
This can be rectified if those designing robots embrace some rather simple concepts. The first goal they should strive to achieve is creating more multi-purpose robots. As the technology stands now, manufacturers are often forced to adjust their entire process to incorporate a new addition. However, in order to provide maximum efficiency, it’s the robot itself that must adapt to the production line and enhance it. The lack of flexibility in these machines is what limits the ability for customization. As we’ve highlighted above, the furthering of manufacturing customization is one of the main reasons why robots are needed at all. Therefore, fixing this particular issue should be the main focus of developers.
Another way the robotics of today need to be advanced post-haste is the optimization of their deployment. The majority of industrial robots are extremely difficult to integrate into the production process. It’s a part of the issue with their lack of flexibility. Today, a manufacturer might need to spend several times the cost of the robot itself to have it installed and integrated. Not only does this increase the cost but the process also takes the production line out of operation for a while, which loses the business money.
Should these two major problems be rectified, we are bound to see a wider implementation of industrial robotics. This, in turn, should cause the smart manufacturing to bloom and create multiple opportunities for other businesses.
Over to you, what do you believe to be the biggest issues that hinder the robotic revolution of the industry?
Written by Jack Simmer from DO Supply.