Cobots: the Future Demands of Manufacturing and Industrial Lifting
Our clients come to us with a lot of questions and curiosities on how to stay ahead of competition, and what the latest trends are in industrial lifting technology. Lately, the topic we speak most about is cobots, short for collaborative robots. We’ve put together a few videos and short descriptions on what cobots are and why its time to start thinking about investing in them. Should you have any questions about how collaborative robots can benefit your company, please feel free to reach out and talk by email or phone.
What are cobots?
The definition of a cobot is still being written, but in the meantime, it’s safe to say cobots are robots that collaborative with people to get things done. You can expect to see them in assembly lines, warehouses, manufacturing plants, picking/packing plants, etc. They come in many shapes and sizes, most of them replicating the manual experience of lifting, tilting, moving, or otherwise positioning items and materials.
Recent news about cobots
- The International Federation of Robotics recently announced, “… a growth of 23 percent in annual installations of collaborative robots (cobots) from 2017 to 2018. In 2018 almost 14,000 new cobot arms were installed, and that number could double in three years.” (Source)
- “Tens of thousands of cobots have been sold as of 2019 and earned USD 500 million in annual revenue for world markets” (Source)
- The Robotic Industries Association has ensured “… the safeguarding standards for the United States and Canada are virtually identical except for the distance a particular barrier must be placed from the floor.” (Source)
Advantages of Cobots
For pharmaceutical industries, or even in the field of chemical lifting, there is an understandable need for precise movements. Making sure movements are only an inch to the left or right can feel a lot easier with the help of a collaborative robot.
Weight & Speed
As the rules and regulations for using cobotic technology begin to take shape, the conversation around “how much weight should a cobot lift” is still up for debate. But suppliers aren’t waiting for the answer. For example, Universal Robotics released a new Cobot with 16kg Payload. One possible future for these collaborative robots could include lifting heavier objects and/or moving them faster than current standards allow. As is the case with many things, the marketplace will often push the boundaries of efficiency before associations and interest groups catch up.
The task of handling sensitive materials or wielding potentially dangerous tools can be outsourced to cobots. There is potential to decrease training hours for learning how to operate advanced tools in favour of splitting labour between people and their collaborative robots.
When will you be ready for a cobot?
If you’re anything like our curious clients, you’re likely interested in what it takes to outfit your facilities with cobotic technology. The answer to this question is better understood through discussion, so we invite you get in touch by email or phone. Additionally, we will continue to share our research and knowledge with you, as well as everyone else in our contacts list, so feel free to send us your info by filling out the form below. In exchange, we’ll email you our latest findings and any future announcements about new cobot suppliers. Thank you.