The case for automating manufacturing has been made a plethora of times into the 21st century. With robotics evolving to include smart robots that are designed to collaborate with humans instead of replacing them, so does the business rationale for automating production.
According to a report issued in early 2018 by the GE Global Innovation Barometer, business owners across the globe admit that 40% of innovations made over the past five years have had a great impact on their companies. The first company to develop a commercially viable collaborative robot otherwise known as a cobot was Universal Robots about ten years ago. It features a robotic arm which was designed to share the same workspace with humans.
Cobots have quite a number of benefits but most importantly they serve as tools that enable humans to carry out different tasks and do their jobs better and more easily. Additionally, these smart machines can be used without any human intervention of necessary.
Here are reasons why using collaborative robots for automation in manufacturing operations of any size in any location is a worthy investment.
They are beneficial to companies of all sizes
Due to the development of cobotic arms the once-costly benefits of robotic technology is now affordable for companies of any size. These include small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Thanks to collaborative robots, now even the smallest companies can significantly enhance their production capabilities with the exception of making expensive installations or major renovations for their facilities. This is because cobots have smaller footprints and they cost way much less than traditional robots.
In addition to their lower cost, cobots offer benefits that really matter to SMEs. In a matter of a few hours, these machines can be unpacked, mounted and programmed to complete simple tasks. More so, cobotic programming does not require special skills. Even in the smallest of workspaces, collaborative robots operate safely alongside human workers.
They create better jobs for human workers
According to widely held views, robots are here to take over our jobs. However, contrary to this belief, the increase in automation does not have to negatively impact employment. Why? Well, the introduction of collaborative robots should almost always result in net creation of new jobs. This way, business owners are creating greater value to their companies by allowing their human workforce to work in more fulfilling posts.
According to history, technological advances include those that give rise to industrial revolutions all the while creating new employment opportunities. Research shows that on average, companies which have moved from the use of traditional robots to cobots have significantly increased their headcounts and not reduced them.
By deploying cobots to automate dangerous, mundane and otherwise dirty tasks, you will be freeing your human employees to apply their creativity as well as intangible skills to more intricate projects. This will help to boost their productivity while enhancing their particular skill or craft.
They are not only versatile but also cost effective
Collaborative robots continue to play a vital role in enabling companies especially SMEs which might not have been able to afford make big investments in industrial robots. Now however, such companies can start automating their production processes at their own particular speed and on their own terms.
They bring proximity to markets
There are a number of benefits when a processing, assembly or manufacturing plant or factory is located in the same area or rather in close geographical proximity as the potential recipients of its services or goods. One of the main advantages of this is that the logistics infrastructure as well as entire supply chain becomes shorter and much easier to manage. It also has less of an environmental impact.
Automaton that is cobot-enabled, it makes it easier for businesses to produce goods and offer services close to their consumers. This is not only beneficial to the manufacturer and employees but also consumers and local communities in general.