Collaborative robots or cobots are modern industrial-grade robotic arms from Universal Robots. They are quite easy to program, set up and deploy making them an ideal automation solution for many industries and companies worldwide.
Designed to reinforce the competencies of human workers instead of replacing them, the robots are safe for humans to interact with and affordable to assimilate at the work place. Below is a case study of a company that uses cobots to achieve their desired automation goals.
Aircraft tooling Inc. is a repair center for the aviation industry in the USA. The company needed a robot that was capable of engaging in repair tasks which involves High Velocity Oxygen Fuel (HVOF) and plasma spray on parts. Looking for a cost effective and efficient solution that would also fit well in their small spray cells, ATI choose the UR10. The robot met all their expectations by being user-friendly and portable.
The process of unpacking and programming the robot arm only took them four hours, an incredibly short time compared to the traditional robot and there was also no need to erect a fence around it due to its collaborative feature. The initial cost was almost half in comparison to the other options.
However, the main feature that won the hearts of ATI’s staff was the robot’s ability to operate very well in the spray booths, which are extremely hot and dusty. Doubting the cobot’s resilience and durability, the factory’s thermal spraying supervisor feared that the collaborative robot would fail to withstand some of the powder coatings especially the tungsten carbide, which is a very hard metal coating. Fortunately, upon opening the seals of the UR10, they found its bearings were still intact and after three years of continuous use, its condition is still very good and intact.
The collaborative robot does not need any preventive maintenance since it is well sealed from dust; possess the stability to withstand the recoil of the spray guns used by the company thereby working similarly well in both the dangerous environments as well as in a clean room.
The robot arm enables ATI to achieve a reliable production consistency leading to its growth from being a component-only repair plant to now dealing with overhaul landing gear and engine mounting assembly and accessories. The company continues to maintain high quality standards with their major focus being the restoration of high cost parts to achieve better standard dimensions.
The deployment of collaborative robot arm in new processes is rapid and smooth, providing manufactures with the agility to automate nearly any manual task, including those that have small batches or fast change overs. The small industrial robot is also capable of re-using programs for recurrent applications.
They also help in relieving workers from dull, repetitive tasks and minimizing the risk of injuries. Collaborative robots free up the human work force thus enabling them to concentrate in more important tasks.
Universal Robots offers all the advantages of advanced robot automation, without the traditional costs associated with robotic programming, set-up, and shielding work cells hence lowering the overall production cost. The fastest payback registered is 34 days –this is one of the fastest in the robotics industry.
Collaborative robots improve the speed and precision as well as reliability and quality of the final products. Manufacturing robots can withstand harsh environmental impact and rapid changes in temperature. Cobots can also withstand consistent pressure at all times. By deploying collaborative robots, one is guaranteed of uniform product quality and less manufacturing expenses.
Lastly all the cobots from Universal Robots are certified IP-54 meaning they need protection when operating in corrosive liquid environments.
It is evident that collaborative robot arms are proving to be useful in production activities. They are updating industries to the ultra-modern level of technology thus enabling them to meet the required standards their customers demand.
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