Across the globe, collaborative robots also known as cobots continue to work alongside humans in workplaces. Historically, industrial robots have been used for dangerous, monotonous and mundane tasks. However, cobots are more interactive in that they have the ability of working side-by-side with skilled labor. In addition, collaborative robots are not only easy to train and programme but they also cost less.
Both humans and cobots are increasable collaborating together in the workplace to increase efficiency, drive intelligence, eliminate low value-added activities and process automation. This gives the human employees a chance to focus on creating business and customer value. Here are some of the reasons why your company should consider using cobots.
They solve employee seasonality and retention problems
According to a renowned US furniture company, most of the production jobs tend to be temporary or monotonous due to the seasonality of product demand. Due to this, the company struggles with employee turnover more so finding workers who are willing to pick up and put down different parts all day long.
However, with the help of collaborative robots, this furniture company doesn’t have to worry about finding human workers to handle such tasks. This way, they are able to recruit new employees for advanced work like cognitive jobs that offer career advancement opportunities as well as leverage technology on the factory floor.
They increase productivity
Paradigm Electronics a Canadian electronics manufacturer use cobots to carry out delicate buffing and polishing tasks on their loudspeakers. Their employees who work alongside the cobots handle the quality check and final finish. The company claims the collaborative robots have led to a 50% increase in their overall productivity.
Additional, the integration of robots into their factory floor hasn’t resulted into any job losses. In fact, the workers who previously carried out the aforementioned tasks got promoted to robot programmers from machine operators.
They pinpoint accuracy
Closely integrating robots and car workers in a common working environment, Ford was among the first automotive companies to develop this concept on the assembly line. Collaborative robots that have been developed over the last two years are being used by the company to assist the employees with fitting shock absorbers, to Fiesta cars. This tasks not only requires a higher level of dexterity but also requires pinpoint accuracy as well as strength.
To ensure that there is a perfect fit every time, employees at Ford work collaboratively with robots. The company sought feedback from over 1,000 production line workers since they wanted to identify the tasks for which the new collaborative robots would be best suited.
They improve ergonomics
At an industrial firm in Germany, human employees work alongside a flexible robot who’s taken over assembly tasks that are ergonomically advantageous. They are able cooperate in safe interaction with a cobot whose robotic arm is equipped with sophisticated sensors beneath its soft skin. This enable it to quickly react to the presence of a human co-worker thus eliminate the need to have it placed behind a protective guard such as fences and cages. If the cobot senses that the human coworker is getting close to the arm, it automatically slows down. If the worker then proceeds to touch it, it completely shuts down operation altogether.
Since cobots are equipped with high technology sensors, they stop immediately they detect a finger or even arm in their path thus ensuring that the human worker is always safe. Cobots are helping to make tasks on a factory floor quicker, easier and safer. They complement human workers with abilities that can open up to a plethora of production and design worlds.
Different companies choose to use collaborative technology for different reasons. Hopefully, the reasons mentioned above are enough to help you determine the value of cobots and make a sound business investment when it comes to integrating them into your business.