How does a Cobot work Six Applications for Cobots
Cobots are an excellent way of providing additional resources for your production activities. Productivity and efficiency increase because they can function in areas of work which were previously only occupied by human operators. With inherent safety features like force feedback and collision detection, Cobots are safe to work next to and collaborate with humans, creating a new workforce to take on dirty, dangerous, and dull tasks.
A wide range of applications can benefit from the use of a Cobot. This could be something as simple as automating a repetitive task or aiding your CNC machinist. In this blog, Handling Concepts takes a deeper look at the six most common applications for Cobots.
1. Pick and Place
As the name suggests, pick and place is defined as any task in which an item is picked up and placed in a different location. Pick and place is a repetitive task often conducted by human workers. The nature of the task, whereby people are repeating physical motions, can lead to injuries or mistakes. A Cobot offers you the opportunity to automate tasks. By adding a simple an end-effector that can grip the object, you can easily program the Cobot to grab and move the item.
2. Packaging and Palletising
Packaging and palletising usually follow a pick and place operation where products must be appropriately packaged for transit and selling. This often requires a human worker to assemble boxes, wrap products, or place them onto pallets for shipping. Whilst this is a necessary part of your process, these activities are not enjoyed as meaningful or valuable, especially by your workers. A Cobot is happy to take these tasks and can free up your workers, to be deployed on activities that are more rewarding and truly need a human touch. Your employees will feel the positive benefits of more meaningful employment, helping you to create an enriched, attractive work environment.
3. Process Tasks
A process task is an action that requires a tool to interact with an item. Common examples include gluing, dispensing, or welding. Each of these process tasks requires precision movement of the tool so that it can follow a fixed path repeatedly. These processes can take a significant amount of time and can cause injuries, such as a Repetitive Strain injury. A Cobot can be taught to perform the task once and can then repeat it on as many units as needed. This reduces any lack of precision because a Cobot can repeat movements identically, time after time, without mistakes.
Handling Concepts is an integrator of Cobots that have a repeatability of ±0.02mm. The result is a highly precise Cobot arm with a minimal margin of error. As your West Midlands and UK integrator, you can rely on Handling Concept’s 25 years of materials handling problem solving to help you find the right Cobot for your operational requirements.
4. Machine Tending
CNC machines, injection-moulding and other similar device operators regularly need to tend to actions such as tool changes or a replacement of materials. This task requires your worker to stand in front of a machine for long hours, which is tiresome and demotivating. Cobots never tire they can continue for hours without issue. Cobots free up the human operator, making them available for other more technical tasks, and a single Cobot can tend to multiple machines, increasing productivity of the process and removing the burden of the task from your worker.
5. Finishing Tasks
Polishing, grinding, and deburring are all examples of finishing tasks. These tasks are laborious and require a manual tool and a large amount of effort. It can be difficult to control the quality of finishing when a human worker completes these tasks, because they all have different techniques and styles of working. A Cobot can provide the force, repetition and accuracy required for finishing jobs. Using motion capture technology, your workers can teach the Cobot to complete finishing tasks with no prior knowledge of programming.
6. Quality Inspection
Producing high-resolution images for precision machined parts and part verification against CAD models are quality inspection processes that your Cobot can perform. There are many features, such as cameras and vision systems, which can be integrated into your Cobot, enabling you to automate the process and improve efficiency. By using a Cobot for this application, you can reduce the risk of errors in the inspection process and can ensure product quality is consistent.
Improve Workplace Efficiencies with Cobots
No matter how ergonomic your workspace is, where you have workers conducting repetitive tasks, they become fatigued, slow down, lose concentration and become less productive. A Cobot is not affected by this. It is programmed and primed to maintain speed, precision, and accuracy without a break. It enables you to be confident that output will be consistent, productivity is optimised, and costs are controlled.
The Handling Concepts Cobot range gives you access to a selection of affordable, intuitive, and flexible collaborative robot arms. They are easy to set up and programme and can be tailored to fit into your application. To explore how a Cobot can benefit you, contact Handling Concepts today.