Technological evolution constantly provides new tools to improve the daily operations not only of citizens but also of companies. In recent years, especially in the robotics sector, various inventions have been tested aimed at increasing productivity in the corporate workplace. Although in Italy the term "collaborative robotics“, nations such as China, Japan and the United States have been adopting this nomenclature in everyday language for some time.
In the next lines we will examine this topic more closely, focusing on the main advantages of collaborative robotics.
Collaborative robotics: definition and origins
Maybe you are not aware of what collaborative robotics is and what it does. Collaborative robotics is that activity that uses i cobots (also known as collaborative robots) to interact between a physical person and generic computer software. Going into specifics, the work activity aimed at intelligently assisting the robotic and human components is considered.
This technological revolution officially began in the year 2008 when the first UR5 cobot was released by Universal Robot. This device allowed for natural collaboration between human resources and industrial machinery, bringing various advantages to general production. Currently, the growth of cobots in companies has increased by 50% compared to 2012 and is projected towards a global revenue of 3 billion dollars in 2021.
Cobot: it is not an industrial robot
Although the definition gives a perfect idea of what the difference is between a collaborative robot and an industrial robot, it is worth underlining them so as not to get confused between the two types of use. Cobots, in addition to having different sizes and functions, are distinguished from traditional robots by three fundamental characteristics: speed, flexibility and safety.
Collaborative robotics aims to significantly speed up the implementation of business activities and seeks to obtain better results by exploiting the flexibility of collaborative and non-passive artificial intelligence.
Added to these elements is significantly higher safety than traditional industrial robots, the latter often limited by technical and physical limitations.
The advantages of collaborative robotics
The potential of collaborative robotics is evident but so that you can have a clear idea of the practical uses for your company it is important to evaluate the main advantages, let's look at them individually.
1. Increased productivity
Among the most concrete benefits of collaborative robotics is its ability to reduce production times. As you know, time is essential in the production of any type of material or object. Being able to increase productivity could change the way you manage your main lines.
Cobot adapts perfectly to the various production phases, helping the production manager to decide better and quickly on the operations to carry out to obtain the maximum result.
2. Increased quality
You will surely have thought that a reduction in production times leads to a lower quality of the results obtained. The technology on which collaborative robotics bases its foundations focuses on the ideal concept of reducing product defects to zero.
This condition also allows the quality of production to be significantly improved and the best production lines to be carefully selected for certain objectives. Speed is therefore combined with quality bordering on perfection capable of adjusting itself based on needs and delivery times.
3. Human resources management
You can easily deduce from the initial definition how collaborative robotics tries to be halfway between human resources and machines, helping both components to achieve maximum results.
The use of cobots is particularly suitable if you need a collaborator constantly present on the production line and at the same time you need them to never make mistakes. Human resources can concretely collaborate with robotics in order to facilitate company work.
In recent years, more and more companies are relying on collaborative robots to automate production lines. Although it may seem strange to you, but nowadays it is possible to employ your own equipment during blind shifts through process automation. A cobot, depending on the reference model, can manage this process autonomously and with safety systems that can signal technical faults.
This system is particularly useful for renewing old equipment not equipped with an independent integrated system.
5. Total flexibility
As you can imagine, automation brings with it different problems, the perfect connection between the different devices must necessarily be perfect to achieve ideal production. Many companies have experimented with many systems before turning to collaborative robotics and have had to give in to this innovation thanks to the great flexibility in managing the components. Through perfect management of production changes, cobots make automation work extremely simple and fast.
6. Management of work peaks
Among the advantages that have made collaborative robotics a real point of reference for modern companies is the management of work peaks. Many companies, capable of satisfying a limited number of orders, have begun to use collaborative robotics to increase productivity.
This process occurs thanks to the collaboration between the production machine and a specific cobot model, which increases the productivity of the processing of the same machine beyond 30%.
7. Machining spaces
If your company is particularly active in the world of goods production, you will find a perfect solution in collaborative robotics. This allows you to prepare continuity processes in the production line and optimize the usable space during the manufacturing activity. Cobots have the ability to offer a concrete response to these needs by providing a system suitable for optimizing spaces.
8. Different models
One of the advantages that you can adapt to your needs is the ability of cobots to be available in different models. We often make the mistake of imagining a technology like this limited to the size of the machines available, in reality collaborative robotics adapts with its multiple models to the needs of your company and work activity.
The greater the production needs, the better the models used will be. As anticipated in the previous lines, the flexibility of collaborative robotics embraces every aspect of this sector.
You will surely have understood how collaborative robotics can make the difference in a business context, the optimization and management of daily activities combine with the needs of human resources and final results with great simplicity.
The safety of workers is also linked to these characteristics, imagine having to complete a process where the cutting of sharp materials is constant, and is entrusted only to the human component. The risks of a potential accident can be many, an automated system with cobots allows you to almost completely eliminate the workplace accident component. The greater the use of collaborative robotics, the greater the safety of human resources.
10. Long-term investments
The last advantage that we will examine concerns the long-lasting investment capacity that collaborative robotics can provide you over time.
The improvement of production by a cobot allows you to use your employees no longer in verifying the functionality of the production lines, entrusted to the cobots, but towards quality control and inspection of the final result. This condition allows you to plan less risky investments and produce higher quality products.
Although Italy is a nation that tries to constantly evolve, it is not yet equipped to compete with the large global industries.
In order to reach the level of competitors, it is advisable to invest in innovative technologies that are now consolidated in the most advanced countries. Collaborative robotics, as demonstrated by the advantages, is now a key point between the old and new generations and it is important to understand its potential to keep up with the competition.