Robotic assembly is gaining high speeds in the manufacturing of medical devices, vehicles, stove tops, computer parts and many others. The assembly processes and manufacturing of goods can now be made cost-effective through the use of robotic automation.
Robotic assembly procedures
Most of the processes involved in traditional assembly process can now be done by integrating manufacturing automation.
Here is a brief description of the automated assembly process:
- The automated assembly process begins with material cutting. Robots can be changed over quickly since they are reliable and suited for all the cutting applications.
- Robots then perform waterjet cutting, plasma, oxy, mechanical and laser cutting. The cut features range from very complex contours to much simpler features.
- Material forming is the next process which involves a robot tending to a press, tube bending and brake which reduces chances of injury to human workers.
- An integrated assembly, inspection and forming system includes robotic conveyors that compriseof a forming system which has a subsystem for roller hemming and an inspection subsystem.
- The use of manufacturing automation in welding offers minimal weld distortion and improved qualities of the weld results.
- Robotic gluing is used to achieve high accuracy and speed.
- The next phase involves painting which is a hazardous job because it exposes human workers to toxic and carcinogenic chemicals. Painting robots are able to accomplish the paint task effectively.
- Once the material has been completed, Robotic inspection can now be done because the robots are able to perform error detections on part and then ensure complete assembly of part.
Types of the Assembly Robots
There is a perfect robotic assembly for every design that would be needed by the industry and the following are some of the assembly robots.
- Six axis Robot: These type of robots provides flexibility and optimal strength to complete the designated tasks. They play an essential role in the assembly line process.
- Four-axis SCARA robots: They are best for high speed assembly process.
- The Modern Delta configuration: They resemble a spider mounted on the ceiling and perfect for assembly of small parts.
- Collaborative robots: Designed to function alongside the human workforce.
Benefits of Robotics in Assembly and Packaging
Manufacturing automation can be deployed in almost every industry to achieve quite a number of benefits as seen below:
- Gain flexibility in products and in packaging: Robotic technology is frequently used in handling syringes as well as in assembly. Where there is frequent low volumes of production and changeover the robots are used for palletizing and case picking.
- Short product lifecycles can be accommodated: Manufacturing automation provides cost effective solutions where and the added advantage of redeploying robots as the needs changes.
- The Cost of Labor is Lowered: Robots are increasingly becoming affordable and therefore it is financiallyjustifiable to deploy a robotic assembly system which can handle repetitive jobs that could otherwise take long when done by the human workforce.
- Less waste and high throughput: Manufacturing robots enhance quality and throughput because robots have now been designed to work collaboratively with people and are able to do the more complex tasks like pick and place accurately and repeatedly.
- Economic use of floor space: Two or more robots can be mounted horizontally or upside down in one cell and move along a small space without having to take up so much of the floor space.
- Improve traceability:Manufacturing automation can enhance traceability by adding vision technology and bar codes. The robot is able to pick, place, assemble, sort, count and record every interaction.
- Increase Production: Robots can be redeployed back to the assembly line and you can as well add more robots to increase productivity.
Manufacturing automation can now be integrated on assembly lines to save on money and achieve high quality parts.
Robotic assembly systems have so far proven to be one of the mature technologies with high returns on investment.