Automation is the way to go if you are to compete effectively in business. However, automating may not be a straightforward process because different companies need different automation solutions. Also, there is a wide range of robots in the market to choose from.
There are industrial robots, microrobots as well as collaborative robots. The latter is designed to work alongside humans in the workplace. Making the right decision is crucial to the success of your business.
SMEs have found collaborative robots to be suitable for their automation needs. They also help to serve as an introduction to automation as they are much easier to program and set up. They may not have all the perks that come with industrial automation but they are helpful as an entry point.
You need to explore your automation options before buying your robot. The idea is to find one that is the best fit for your establishment. A Universal robot is your best option especially if you decide to go for a collaborative robot.
Cobots and Industrial Robots: A Comparison
It has been established that there are glaring differences between an industrial robot and a collaborative robot. For starters, the former is huge, stationary and expensive. The latter is a lot smaller, mobile and affordable.
Also, inasmuch as cobots are built to collaborate with humans on the production floor, the risk factor must be assessed. Do not assume that a robot is safe to work beside a human by virtual of being a cobot. You still have to ensure that all the safety measures are in place.
Collaborative robots are designed for use within a specified workspace besides humans. They come with in-built safety measures to ensure the safety of human workers. They are also meant to perform such as the following:
- Repetitive tasks
- Tasks that injury-prone
- Machine tending
- Pick-and-place tasks
Taking up these tasks allows human workers to be free to perform less hazardous and more fulfilling ones. They are able to simulate human actions and perform the same tasks at the same speed.
Industrial robots are:
- Controlled automatically
- Fixed in a designated spot
They can be used to automate a host of processes. Companies can use multiple industrial robots and exempt humans from perilous environments completely. The payback is quite large because they offer high-volume processes.
Modern industrial robots can be used collaboratively because safety features have been enhanced. Hence, they offer benefits that are for the most part to those of cobots. However, their payload and speed are greater.
In addition, they come with programming interfaces that are modern, very intuitive and easy to use. They are excellent options for huge manufacturing companies.
Specific Company Needs
You may figure that a cobot is the best option for your current needs. It is easy to use and can be an appropriate introduction to automation. However, you must examine the applications you need to automate. They may quickly go beyond your cobot’s scope.
Also, if you need a good number of cobots, compare the cost of buying many to the cost of getting one industrial robot. You may find that the cost of several cobots plus additional workers may go well beyond the cost of an industrial robot.
Consequently, you should have in mind the specific automation requirements of your company before you purchase your robot. You may like the benefits that a cobot offers but that is not what your company requires.
Ultimately, the needs of your business will dictate the robot you are going to buy. Both industrial robots and cobots can be very beneficial to your business. They help boost production as well as help to drive the profit margin up.
In addition, the quality of your product improves and your customers will be impressed with the additional equipment. All in all, automation is the future of business. To compete effectively and build a solid customer base, automation is inevitable.