Industrial technology continuously evolves to help manufacturers meet increasing consumer demand and be competitive in the global market. Applications of technology in factories have created new opportunities for companies to become more safe, efficient and profitable. And with the rise of Industry 4.0, robotics integration is instrumental to the manufacturing industry for a number of advantages: reliability, precision, consistency, and durability to hazardous conditions. The growing role of robotics in industrial automation bridges traditional manufacturing with the latest smart technology.
Industrial robots are able to operate 24/7 at maximum efficiency with virtually unhindered. They are always there to do what they’re supposed to, minus the human error and fatigue. For instance, robots deployed using deep learning models are able to leverage inference analysis toward more informed decision making. They can also be integrated with business systems for more efficient communication between multiple data platforms. This creates a more efficient manufacturing process with less variability.
Industrial robots can also carry out multiple tasks at once. Facility managers can better use industrial floorspace and reduce hardware footprint by replacing legacy limited-purpose programmable logic controller (PLC) with strong multi-core compute power. Major food companies like Tyson Foods have introduced robots into their food production plants. The robots use vision technology, sensors and AI to take on multiple roles in production. They can do everything from cutting, weighing, packaging and palletizing.
2. Quality Control
Nowadays, automation is far more reliable than human workers. Robots are programmed for precision, so they are capable of maintaining consistent quality in production and services without the factor of human error. The automobile industry has used robots for decades on manufacturing floors. For example, Ford deployed laser-vision robots to improve assembly processes. The robots are equipped with lasers and cameras that allow for high-precision welding operations.
Industrial PCs aggregating a wealth of sensor data can monitor equipment settings and production processes in real time and make reflexive adjustments that prevent aberrant production and services. Robots using machine vision can perform intricate optical-based processes with exacting accuracy. Microscopic flaws in design or subtle deviations in color can be instantly spotted and addressed to preserve product standards. Ford’s laser-vision roots are also capable of inspecting their own work, reducing product inconsistencies.
3. Lower Costs
Automation reliability allows manufacturers to reduce overall waste within the production process. Robots don’t need to take breaks or request leave. Replacement costs are minimized since robotic equipment can be updated or reassigned to complete new tasks as the business model evolves.
Though they may seem an extravagant initial investment, industrial robots deliver a quick return on investment via reduced labor costs and faster production cycles. According to the Boston Consulting Group, increasing automation in the workplace could cut labor costs by an average of 16 percent or more. The long-term operating and maintenance costs would be cheaper than employing a human worker to perform the same tasks.
Equally important, automation can free up floorspace that can be used for additional manufacturing processes. And by optimizing allocation of resources and manpower, robotics grant greater control over variable production costs.
4. Better Work Environment
Worker safety is an obvious reason for industrial automation. For instance, human workers can become distracted and get injured while operating heavy machinery. Robots remain focused on their tasks, while more intelligent models factor in and adjust for surrounding conditions that could upset the safety of the work area. Amazon invested heavily in automation and robotics. Their warehouse in Florence, N.J., is a prime example of robots and humans teaming up. The robots enhance workflow automation and make warehouse work less tedious and physically taxing.
Unlike humans, robots can be deployed to carry out tasks too dangerous or physically demanding for human workers. Operating conditions with high temperatures, hazardous toxins, or prolonged exposure to loud noises can leave to permanent impairments. Delegating dangerous tasks to robots remove workers from the hazards of the factory floor. The level of automation can be customized to reconcile business needs with the goal of maintaining a thriving workforce culture.
5. Creation of New, Better Jobs
There is a myth that robots will displace workers, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The inclusion of robots merely changes the jobs that already exist. They can take over tedious or demanding duties that people don’t particularly enjoy. Lincoln Electric, a Cleveland-based welding manufacturer, introduced customized robots increasing productivity and quality. This business optimization allowed the company to build new facilities and expand their manned workforce.
Instead of doing menial work or performing monotonous tasks, workers can focus of more meaningful, rewarding opportunities. They can learn to program and conduct maintenance on the machines or take advantage of additional education opportunities. By training staff to work with robots, you allow them to develop skills that will help advance their careers. Employees will be happier and more motivated to stay with the company.
Premio Solutions for Robotics
Premio presents several ruggedized solutions that enable nimble robotics in facilities at every level of automation. Build to withstand industrial conditions that expose devices to extremes of temperature, shock and vibration, Premio industrial computers provide powerful processing and human interface tools to an automated workforce.
With cellular, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology options, Premio devices ensure fast, reliable communications between robot and other equipment, network and cloud resources for latency-free process responsiveness.
A combination of strong GPU and CPU processing grants automated robotic systems the artificial intelligence to “understand” aspects of their tasks outside their programmed functions to make decisions how to execute safer and more efficiently.
Machine Vision Computers efficiently process the visual data input generated by robotic systems. Keen visual analyses yield microscopic precision for production and services, as well as provide sight and brain power to autonomous mobile robots.
Industrial Display PCs improve on traditional static displays for the critical human machine interface (HMI) element of robotic systems. Industrial PC displays perform many concurrent applications that provide workers real time insight into and control of their robotic systems.