Automation can be used to streamline many industrial processes and when most people think of it in that context, the first thing that comes to mind is a robot.
However, getting a robot without knowing exactly what it entails is setting yourself up for failure. You also want to keep in mind that there are some factors to be considered when purchasing robots.
In this guide, we are going to introduce you to several things you need to know about robotics as well as a buying guide so that you make an informed choice when purchasing.
Complexity and Size
If you have a bigger system, chances are that you will want a machine that can handle several steps simultaneously. For instance, if you are doing robot assembly with several production steps, you could get a robot that will stack products and move them to another area.
Since a larger automated system is likely to be complex, it would be advisable to make the steps involved in the production process as simple as possible.
Besides, the more motion axes your robot has, the more varied and complex movements your robot can complete and this is very useful when consolidating steps.
In most manufacturing applications, simplicity is paramount.
It makes sense to use robots in larger factories because robots designed for the same come at a higher price. Smaller factories may benefit from using human labor.
Anyway, when automating processes, a manufacturer gets to decide the degree to which they will automate their processes.
Since robots are usually used along with bigger automation systems, they have to be part of the system. Robots are fairly easy to program which makes them an easy addition to production processes.
Speed and Precision Level
Robotics can perform accurate tasks within minutes and this is a crucial feature in some production processes. For instance, the smallest mistake in the production of medical syringes can make them useless.
Moreover, if a manufacturing process entails testing and inspection, robots make it easier. Whether used along with a visual inspection system or alone to handle functional tests, robots can work to accelerate the inspection process.
Robots can Be Used in Smaller Systems
Granted, larger manufacturers are more likely to purchase robots compared to smaller manufacturers but there are instances when smaller manufacturers may want to use robots as well.
This is quite understandable because robots come ready and can easily be programmed. Therefore, if you are considering automation, you may want to incorporate robotics into your system.
Besides, robot manufacturers are now making units specifically targeted for smaller industries.
Since robots can easily and quickly be reprogrammed as well as used for new processes and tasks, they can make your production processes easier. For instance, if you specialize in the production of cell phone bumpers, you may have to change your process and product whenever a new phone is launched.
When using robots, you can easily adjust them to perform tasks regarding new cases of different characters and dimensions without having to splurge money on replacements for your systems.
How to Choose an Assembly Robot
If you are thinking of getting an industrial robot to streamline your industrial processes, you are likely to begin by looking at the options available through industry news or at trade shows.
In the process, you will come across several names repeatedly and that is because they have a proven track record. You can also rely on them to continue innovating and offer impressive products.
So, how do you make a perfect choice? Here are some of the factors you need to consider while shopping.
This is perhaps the first thing you want to consider when looking for a robot to integrate into your production processes. Why? Because when the programming process is hard, chances are that your business will suffer.
If your employees have a hard time programming it, chances are that they will do it wrong and this could lead to wastage or damage which will cost you immensely in the long run.
While at it, you want to consider whether your staff is familiar with industrial robots. If not, you may have to take them through training before acquiring the machine.
Is there Customer Support?
Chances are that your robot is a new phenomenon to you and your staff. Even if it is not, you cannot rule out the possibility of your device malfunctioning.
When this happens, you want to ensure that the manufacturer is available to offer support. If this is not possible, you may have to replace your robot and as you know, these machines do not come cheap.
It would therefore be in your best interest to buy a robot from a company you are sure will offer support whenever you need it.
Manufacturing plants come in different sizes so it wouldn’t make sense for you to get a bigger robot when you do not have the space to accommodate it at your plant.
Instead, you want to consider how much space you have available and whether the robot you want to get can fit there. If it doesn’t, you could end up suffering huge losses.
Perhaps you need your robot to perform heavier and more complex tasks. If this is the case, then you will need one that is designed to offer the same.
If your robot is not built to offer durability, you will constantly be spending on replacements. As such, you want to consider the body materials and look for reviews to find out whether the particular unit you want is likely to last or not.
Will it be Mobile or Fixed?
Based on the specifications you want; you may not have a choice when it comes to this question. For instance, big, heavy robots have to be fixed just to be safe.
Again, this depends on the tasks you need to be performed and whether they require your robot to move or remain stationary.
Getting a robot for your manufacturing processes is a major investment so you cannot afford to go wrong when purchasing. With this guide in your hands, purchasing the right one won’t be a problem, wouldn’t you agree?