An in-depth review of the advantages and disadvantages of industrial robots.
In today’s world industrial robots function in a wide portfolio of industries; automobiles, food processing, metal forging, plastic manufacturing among others. This simply translates to robots being the go to option for any repetitive task in a manufacturing environment.
Normally robots have been utilized in high volume operations, but advancements in technology of late have seen them tested in low or medium sized operations. Robots help a manufacturer tackle problems such as industrial safety, international market competitiveness and tight labor pools among others.
Making an informed decision on industrial robots for sale is hectic to any manufacturer. Considerations should be given to both pros and cons of the robot before a decision is made.
Pros and Cons of industrial robots in manufacturing
This will be an in-depth review of advantages and disadvantages of industrial robots that we are going to consider.
Advantages of industrial robots
Industrial robots have the ability to complete tasks more efficiently and faster than it is humanly possible. They are also able to complete tasks with more accuracy. This is coupled with the fact that they are used in process automation which previously might have taken a significantly longer period of time and resources to complete.
Factoring in their high accuracy levels, industrial robots are capable of high quality produce and more precise and reliable processes. Production of high quality products results in a decrease in time taken for quality control checks to determine if the products are of the desired standards.
Improved working environment
Human beings are not accustomed to repetitive tasks that being said some tasks in the manufacturing environment are deemed too strenuous and dangerous for humans to handle and machines are preferred instead. Introduction of robots vastly improves industrial safety and working conditions.
Longer working hours
Robots unlike human bodies are not affected by fatigue, reduced attention spans or distractions. They can work round the clock while still maintain optimum efficiency.
It has been determined that production is boosted by 40% once a robot takes the place of a manual operator who works for similar periods. Robots also do not take sick-offs or vacation time.
Disadvantages of industrial robots
Industrial robots atypically require a huge upfront investment for purchasing them, though they do prove worth it in the long run. That is why prior to any purchasing decisions being made, due diligence has to be carried out on the correct machine to purchase. Manufacturers cannot afford to get it wrong as this is a very expensive venture.
Initial set up of industrial robots requires the manufacturer of the robot to convey operation and maintenance information to the workforce of the client. This is and expensive and time consuming venture especially if the workforce is totally clueless as to how robotic arms operate.
Expertise required for maintenance and programming is very sophisticated and scarce to find. Also an investment on programming software to work with the workforce has to be made which is not cheap either.
High operation costs
Industrial robots are bound to eliminate some manufacturing labor costs but they do bring in their own operational costs which are not cheap either. These are costs such as maintenance and replacing worn out parts of the robotic arms. In addition there are investments to protect network connected machinery from cyber threats.
Exploring the wider picture robots do have an impact on the economy as much as they do have on manufacturing companies.
They affect the global economy once they replace the human workforce in industries because this results in job loss. Although robots are presumed to be a success mass unemployment cannot be easily compensated for.
To sum it all up, careful consideration should be sought before making significant investment in robots. The main aim of this review was to shed some light on aspects to consider before implementing industrial robots in a manufacturing environment.