Modern technology has truly transformed our world through the generation of opportunities that weren’t available a decade ago. For instance, Internet of Things (IoT) together with connected devices make the process of development more transparent especially in manufacturing. With advancements in technology, plant overseers and managers are able to review operations more accurately which in turn leads to a positive direction for all persons involved in the production process.
Automation and advanced robotics continue to gain popularity as productivity and efficiency become the core focus of many companies. Most robotics used in automation have the capability of operating at an optimal level and also improve working conditions especially if your workers spend most of their time doing dirty, dangerous and dull tasks. Manufacturing robots can take over those mundane jobs giving your human staff the time to take on more exciting duties.
This is where the concept of collaborative robots also known as cobots come into play. Cobots are machines designed to work alongside your human staff as opposed to entirely replacing them. This kind of approach is meant to optimize the factory floor of tomorrow. Therefore, if you’re looking to deploy manufacturing robots on your factory floor, here are some of the tips and tricks you need to know.
Get the right machine for the job
In robotics, there exist different types of hardware and equipment meaning they all come with unique parts, features and uses. Therefore, you need to know what is exactly being done within your company if you want to choose the right systems (ones that align with your factory’s functionality). What this means is that you may want to get your new assemblies or equipment designed based on the components they offer. Will you need custom sensors, human-machine interfaces (HMIs), cameras, drives or motors?
If you’re having trouble finding out what you need, you can get help from your floor workers or engineers; don’t shy away from thinking out of the box.
Start small if you want to win big
Automation can be a costly venture since in the conventional sense you will not be making an equipment or machinery change. It not only requires a significant amount of human resources to redesign or replace a factory floor but also takes time and money. This is why it is more useful and safer to start small when integrating automation into your company. As far as implementing and maintaining automation goes, starting small not only allows you to dip your toes in the water but also offers the same to your employees. Since they will be gaining experience working alongside manufacturing robots, this will help both machine and man to reach an optimal performance level. You can start expanding and slowly integrating more tools and processes as you and your employees grow to understand robotics better.
Another way of doing it is looking into service providers for robotics. These work in the same way as software service providers in that you rent the robots from experienced providers instead of buying them.
Plan for your company growth
If you’re planning to upgrade your factory or plant ensure that boundaries is one of your considerations. Do you leave room for future expansions or throw everything in at once? While it is wise to leave or make room for the future growth of your company, it doesn’t mean that you leave parts of your factory entirely empty. However, you will have to put into consideration how and what you are going to do when the time for expansion comes.
Integrating manufacturing robots into your company can be a multistep process which requires you and your workforce to be ready at all times. Therefore, always plan ahead and scope out what type of machinery and tools you need and what you’re required to do to make room for automation.
Following these tips can ensure that the deployment of robotics into your workplace has fewer obstacles and lower risks.