Manufacturing automation has been around for decades. In fact, it is difficult to remember a time when industries were without automation. There have been major advances in technology over the years which have been responsible for the advanced factory production since the 70s.
Advances in technology over the years include the following:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Machine learning
- Big data
- The Internet of Things (IoT)
Robotics has done farther and introduced collaborative robots which have allowed humans to interact with machines in the workplace right on the production floor. It is amazing to watch humans and machines working side by side like old colleagues.
Collaborative robots (cobots) have improved efficiency in the workplace making it possible to manufacture top quality products, minimizing waste and decreasing hazards on the production floor.
They have also helped to make the workplace a more relaxed space as they are programmed to take over any tasks that workers may be reluctant d to perform.
The Evolution of the Robot
The evolution of the robot has been gradual and consistent. The modern robot is so intelligent and efficient that it has people worrying that it is out to take in the workplace. Furthermore, it is now possible to access automation even if you do not own your own. A few of the robotic trends that have impacted manufacturing automation are as follows:
Robotics as a Service (RaaS) Help to Keep Costs Down
RaaS is a service that supports the rental robots and automated systems by small businesses which may not yet be in a position to purchase their own. This allows any businesses to be able to access crucial systems that help to improve their services as well as products.
With this service, small businesses have been able to temporarily acquire hardware that they would not have been able to access otherwise. They are allowed to borrow these systems for an agreed upon length of time then return them when the time runs out.
Collaborative robots are able to mingle with humans on the production floor. They have inbuilt security systems that allow them to work alongside humans without harming them. They also have sensors which alert them when humans get too close so that they can slow down operations or stop altogether to avoid a collision.
Cobots are smaller and more versatile than their industrial siblings which are caged and cannot move among the human workers. They are programmed to handle a multitude of tasks ranging from pick and place to going into dangerous places to perform tasks therein.
Older systems must not be thrown out once the new technology comes in. they can be rebuilt r reorganized with new controls and made more effective and accessible. This will allow businesses to save the money they would have spent on new technology.
Robotics and the Internet of Things
Trends include the incoming Industrial Internet of things (IIoT) which works with data from perpetually on and connected devices to allow manufacturers to see crucial information in real time.
IoT workers to get the hardware to be more aware and understanding of its surroundings so that. That makes for a pretty smart machine which is able to perceive and make decisions. Modern robots are also designed to work together intelligently.
Today’s robots and those of the future can and do store their own data which they also analyze and send information to other devices. This means that robots are evolving into machines which are able to improve and grow much like human beings are able to.
The machine takeover may be an exaggerated notion but robots and automation are growing by leaps and bounds. It is necessary to catch up to what these magnificent machines can do especially for industries. Business people must keep abreast with the innovations that are coming up every year.
The evolution of manufacturing automation means great things are coming to the business world and the business community must be ready. It also means that collaboration between humans and machines is going up a notch.