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4 Reasons Why Cobots Are Increasingly Becoming Popular With Smaller Manufacturers

4 Reasons Why Cobots Are Increasingly Becoming Popular With Smaller Manufacturers

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by December 21, 2018 Technology

Small and medium sized companies have long been excluded from enjoying the various benefits that come with automating their industrial processes. However, this is changing. And it all has to do with the fact that such companies are gradually discovering the availability of collaborative robots(cobots) and what they can do for them.

A cobot usually comes with all the advantages of automation but without the drawbacks of traditional automation systems. It is usually less bulky, way more flexible and easier to use than traditional systems. Here are some of the reasons why cobots are increasingly becoming popular with small-scale manufacturers.

Easier to program

Traditional industrial robotic systems have to be programmed by experienced programmers. These highly skilled operators are needed not only to set up the system, but also run it. This meant hiring a skilled workforce. It also limits the number of companies and people that could properly take advantage of the benefits that such a system offers.

Modern collaborative robots are way easier to program. In fact, the best in class systems are so easy to program such that operators with limited programming experience can set them up. This is because such systems use advanced 3D visualization to make it easy for almost anyone to get them up and running.

The fact that collaborative industrial robots are easier to program makes them less intimidating to most business owners. It makes their employees more open to using them. And since companies don’t have to higher team of experts to set up and run these robots, they end up being a more affordable solution for their companies.

Faster set up

Collaborative robots are easy to deploy. This is because most of the work is usually done by manufacturers. These systems come with most of the work already done such that once delivered to a set up site, they sometimes take less than a day to set up.

This is something that has caused many manufacturers to warm up to collaborative robots simply because there is little to no disruption to the manufacturing process. This is unlike traditional robotic systems that sometimes take months to properly deploy.

Flexibility

Flexibility is an advantage when it comes to a changing business environment. This is so especially in the current world where processes, technologies and products are rendered redundant at an ever-increasing rate.

For small-scale manufacturers, having systems that can be able to adapt to existing needs is important. This is because with such systems, a business doesn’t have to spend a lot of money investing in new industrial manufacturing systems every time there is a change in the market or company needs.

Most collaborative robots are designed to be flexible. Unlike dedicated robots, these robots can execute a variety of industrial applications. This agility enables these robots to offer help wherever and whenever it is needed. It is a quality that usually ends up saving a manufacturer a lot of money.

Safety

With most traditional robotic systems, safety guarding mechanisms are a must. This is costly and usually requires more time and space to implement.

Cobots don’t require any safety guarding. This is because they are built to collaborate with humans. As a result, most of the safety mechanisms come already built into the systems. All that is required to ensure an injury-free manufacturing environment is the initial risk assessment. After that, these robots can work right alongside humans without any risk to the humans.

The fact that these robots are safe doesn’t just doesn’t mean fewer injuries and medical expenses. It also means that companies don’t have to dedicate extra resources to build safety mechanisms around the industrial robot. Savings on space, inspections and time are advantages that come with a system that is safe on arrival.

Final thoughts

The invention of robots that can collaborate with humans has finally made automation accessible to companies of all sizes. This has significantly evened the playing field in such a way that smaller and medium sized manufacturing plants have a shot at providing products and services that are at par with those of larger companies. Given that a cobot is a safe, affordable, flexible and easy-to-use industrial automation solution, there is no reason why a company would hesitate to take advantage of the benefits that come with automation.

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