Top Industrial Robotics Applications. Role of Robots in Manufacturing.

Industrial Robotics Applications
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Published By - Kelsey Taylor

Industrial robotics applications occur in numerous manufacturing sectors like factories and warehouses. In this new era of manufacturing, Industrial robots play an essential role in the automation sector, and hence there is massive production growth. Using industrial robots, manufacturers can reduce the cost of production, speed up production and improve the quality.

There is a high investment in the industrial robot, but the benefits are also high. Hence, industrial robots are worth investing in because of their efficient operation in manufacturing. In this article, we will see some critical applications of industrial robots.

Understanding Industrial Robots

Industrial robots are machines programmed to perform automotive tasks related to manufacturing. Various industries use robots for flexible automation and a large amount of production. These robots can do complex series of activities and reduce production time.

UNIMATE is the first industrial robot used by General Motors in the early 1960s. Robots in manufacturing can perform multiple activities, from material handling to packaging. Therefore, they are designed to perform various and repetitive tasks and reduce the time required for production. In fact, industrial robots are provided with Artificial Intelligence and machine learning systems that help the manufacturer respond to real-time situations.

What are the types of Industrial Robots?

Due to rapid advancement in robotics and automation technology, the adoption of industrial robots in manufacturing sectors has been increased. Moreover, numerous industrial robots are being used to perform multiple tasks with repeatability resulting in production with good quality. Therefore, several applications of industrial robotics in the manufacturing sector occur. Here we will learn some essential types of industrial robots.

Articulated Robots

Articulated robots are everyday industrial robots that resemble human arms in their mechanical structure. This human arm is attached to the base in a twisted joint-like design. The rotary joint attached to the arm of articulated robots are parallel and have six degrees of freedom. The six degrees of freedom in articulated robots offer maximum flexibility.

Advantages:

  • Articulated robots are easier to align to multiple spaces.
  • These are High-Speed robots.

Disadvantages:

  • Complicated programming
  • Require dedicated robot controller

Cartesian Robots

Rectilinear or gantry robots is another name for Cartesian robots. It has a rectangular configuration and has three prismatic joints. These joints are perpendicular to their three axes, X, Y, and Z, which deliver linear motion. Cartesian robots might have a wrist attached to their joints that allow rotational motion. Also, they are more flexible and are used in several manufacturing sectors, making them suitable for specific application needs.

Advantages:

  • It has simple operation
  • High customizable

Disadvantages:

  • Complex assembly
  • The limited movement to only one direction.

SCARA Robots

Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arm (SCARA) robots consist of two parallel joints. It has a donut-shaped envelope that delivers compliance in one direction. The arm attached to the rotary shaft is vertical and move horizontally. Therefore, compared to cylindrical and cartesian robots, SCARA robots move faster and have easier integration.

Advantages:

  • Excellent repeatability.
  • High Speed

Disadvantages:

  • SCARA robots are limited to planer surfaces.
  • Hard to program offline.

Delta Robots

Delta robots or Parallel link robots consist of parallel joint linkages attached to a common base in its mechanical structure. It provides high-speed operation and is generally used for fast pick and place transfer.

Advantages:

  • It has very high speed
  • Provide high accuracy.

Disadvantages:

  • Complicated Operation.
  • Need a dedicated robot controller.

Polar Robots

Polar robots have twisted joints attached to the arm and two rotary joints with one linear joint connected to the links. These robots are Spherical robots as it has spherical work envelope. By the way, the access of this configuration of the opposing robot arm is limited within its workspace.

Advantages:

  • Requires less floor space
  • Large work volume

Disadvantages:

  • Cannot reach above itself
  • Short vertical reach

Cylindrical Robots

Above all, cylindrical robots have a cylindrical workspace and pivoting shaft with s at least one prismatic joint and one rotary joint attached to the links. Further, the post is moving vertically due to an extendable arm and sliding. With their cylindrical structure, these robots offer horizontal and vertical linear movement with their axes.

Advantages:

  • Firstly, it has simple operation and Installation.
  • Secondly, it can reach all-round itself.

Disadvantages:

  • Low accuracy
  • Most importantly, it cannot reach around obstacles.

How does Industrial Robots Work?

Industrial robots perform multiple manufacturing tasks with the help of sensors, controllers, and actuators. They perform the repetitive movement cycle as programmed by the manufacturer with a set of commands. Further, robots develop machines that can reduce human intervention. They can be used for various manufacturing processes or where humans can not survive, for instance, in Space, high heat, Underwater, etc.

Also, they are made to operate in a dangerous environment that includes inspection of radioactive materials, bomb deactivation, etc. Robots are programmable and can move on three or more axis. Hence, they have some typical applications like welding, assembly, painting, etc.

Top Industrial Robotics Applications

Numerous applications of Industrial Robots occur in manufacturing sectors. Here we will study some of the critical applications of industrial robots.

  1. Assembly & Dispensing
  2. Handling & Picking
  3. Machining and Cutting
  4. Welding & Soldering
  5. Casting & Molding
  6. Finishing and Sanding
  7. Painting & Coating
  8. Cleaning & Hygiene
  9. Logistics & Storage
  10. Packing & Palletizing
  11. Inspection & Quality Control
  12. Harvesting

Assembly & Dispensing

As we know manufacturing process involves assembling small units into large units. Due to technological advancement, it is now possible to use robots in manufacturing sectors to perform multiple tasks simultaneously. During assembling processes in industries, it require adhesive robots as most assembling operations are sticky.

Assembly robots can not change their position as fastened to the floor. Most assembly robots are Cartesian configuration types. The automotive industry is the first to use assembly robots. The jobs like glue and epoxy need dispensing high-speed robots.

Handling & Picking

Industrial robots that transport goods in a warehouse are the handling robots. Also, the robots used to pick items and place them into a shipping bag are examples of picking robots. These robots are beneficial for an eCommerce company. In short, material handling robots, liquid handling robots, pick and place robots are other examples of Handling and picking robots.

Machining and Cutting

In any manufacturing sector or industrial environment, there is a need for repetitive operations. So, to automate the process, robots are the only option. Similarly, the machine and cutting fields of the manufacturing sector require different robots such as Machine Tending and Loading Robots, milling robots, Drilling robots, Lesser cutting robots, plasma cutting robots, and Waterjet cutting robots.

Welding & Soldering

In industry, arc welding is used to connect pieces of metal by using electricity. The heat helps metal pieces connect and get permanently joined when they cool. Meanwhile, arc welding robots make this process easy, as the process becomes automated. After that, this automation process is now multiplying.

Certainly, the soldering process requires melted filler material to add to the joint. Subsequently, the melting temperature of this material is lower than the workspace. Most importantly, the soldering robots help to make this process automated and fast.

Casting & Molding

In the casting process, the metallic object form by injecting a liquid metal in a cavity shape of the object. Molding and Casting are the same, but the material used for melting is different. Plastic use in the molding process. But, molding is faster than the casting process. Therefore, injection Molding Robots, Finishing, Sanding, etc., are examples of robots for the casting and molding process.

Finishing and Sanding

The unwanted material is removed in the finishing and sanding process to get the final desired product. In other words, it is the finishing and Sanding process. In many manufacturing sectors like Casting, welding, and drilling, the unwanted material is left behind, so this material needs to be clean to make the final product. Further, the Deburring Robots, Grinding Robots, and Polishing Robots are examples of robots to make this process easy and automated.

Painting & Coating

Industrial painting and coating require a workpiece to make a final product. Similarly, applying a painting or coating on a workpiece is the Industrial painting and coating process. Moreover, this process is highly repetitive and requires automation. Hence, Painting Robots, Spray Painting Robots, and Coating Robots uses for painting and coating.

Cleaning & Hygiene

Cleaning & Hygiene is essential to maintain clean industrial facilities and product quality. Also, safety is crucial in any workplace, so Hygiene is another critical parameter. Therefore, this process is repetitive and requires cleaning robots.

Logistics & Storage

As the name suggests, we need some logistics to transfer the goods or any workpiece. So, the warehouse requires delivery robots to perform this activity. In addition, there is a need for automation for transportation, packing of goods, labeling, etc. To sum up, warehouse robots and delivery robots are examples of industrial robots.

Packing & Palletizing

Various industries like warehouses, manufacturing, and distribution places have packaging and palletizing processes. Likewise, to pack smaller packages, we need robots as this is a repetitive process. For example, two robots Packaging robots, and Palletizing robots, require for this process.

Inspection & Quality Control

As we know, some inspection and quality control issues are dangerous and are life and death. In the same vein, if we fail to install that part, it may lead to a life-threatening situation. Hence for 100% accuracy, we need robots. As a result, vision robots are the best example of inspection and quality control applications.

Harvesting

Above all, the timely harvesting of vegetables and fruits is essential. However, to ensure a high-quality product, we need to do on-time harvesting. Grains are time-sensitive crops and need time harvesting. So, to perform this task, we need a Harvesting robot.

Conclusion

In conclusion, industrial robots have several opportunities and applications in the manufacturing sector. Above mentioned applications display that the robots ensure increased quality, lower cost, and fewer workplace injuries. To clarify, industrial robots have now become a familiar sight for many industries.


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