Machine loading, or placing parts in, say, a CNC lathe or press brake, is a highly automatable application. For workers, it is a repetitive, mind-numbing task that is difficult to sustain consistently and with concentration for long periods of time. Thanks to cobots, machine loading can be more efficient and productive. In other words. Cobots allow manufacturing companies to produce more flexibly and do more work without increasing the workforce. What are the benefits of machine loading with a robot?
Repetitive and physically demanding work is ideal to automate with a collaborative robot. For humans, it is often risky, and over time the quality decreases because it is difficult to perform the same actions in a concentrated manner for long periods of time. By letting cobots take over these tasks, productivity is significantly increased. Human error is minimized, workers can focus on other important tasks, and production could continue at night, for example. For a CNC machine, this ultimately means more spindle hours and therefore more production.
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It was pointed out above; cobots ensure consistent high quality. The robot will always perform its actions in exactly the same way. This improves the product quality and often these products can also be produced more cheaply. Win-win, in other words. In addition, cobots can lend a hand in inspecting products to ensure quality.
Programming a cobot is very easy, compared to traditional industrial robots. The programming interface is user-friendly and no in-depth programming knowledge is needed to set up such a robot. There they are ideal for high mix, low volume productions where flexibility is important. The robots are compact, lightweight and can be taught new tasks quickly and easily. Moving the cobot to another machine with a different batch is therefore not a problem.
A common misconception is that automation leads to worker replacement. Therefore, employees will always be a little reluctant when it comes to automation. Cobots, on the other hand, are designed precisely to stand alongside employees. And because employees are assigned less monotonous and less dangerous tasks, they will actually become happier in the work they do. In addition, because people are kept away from moving machine parts, they are less likely to have accidents.
Less cost, more profit
In principle, higher productivity also means higher profit. In order to recover machine costs as efficiently as possible, it is important that these machines are running and being loaded as much as possible. In addition, it saves on personnel costs if operators who would normally be busy loading machines can now focus on other tasks. Cobots can take over all the activities involved in loading the machines. In addition, they only need to be programmed once per product.
Machine loading video
Watch the video below of our automation application at a CNC lathe.
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