Artificial intelligence has completely changed the way robots work in manufacturing and we now see them working alongside humans. Robotics and manufacturing is going to usher a new era of collaboration and smart working.
According to TechJury statistics, the artificial intelligence and robotic industry’s global market for manufacturing and other jobs is estimated to reach $59.9 billion USD. Robotic automation is going hand in hand with several industrial manufacturing areas, and it’s playing a vital role in the manufacturing landscape.
The robots perform various tasks such as assembly, welding, raw materials management, product packing, and shipping. It makes the work more efficient by both time and cost, but it also ensures a decrease in human error. Forbes states that there were 99 robots in the global industry per 10,000 human employees in 2018.
What are robots doing in manufacturing?
Artificial intelligence has completely changed the way robots work. Now modern robots can learn new tasks and instruction with time due to machine learning algorithms. That’s why we can see robots working side by side with human workers in some factories such as the Tesla Gigafactory.
Under the vision of Elon Musk, we can see AI robots wandering around and self-navigating AIVs (Autonomous Indoor Vehicles). They don’t need magnets or beacons to guide them, and they efficiently transfer goods between different stations with 100 percent accuracy.
The advancements in RPA (Robotic Process Automation) technology are drastic, and it allows robots to carry out many tasks in manufacturing. The most common tasks are but not limited to, the following:
- Goods transportation
- Packaging and labeling
- Product inspection
Robotics and manufacturing
The new concepts and ideas are emerging from using robots in manufacturing because of the benefits they bring. Robots automation upgrades manufacturing with a sophisticated and accurate working environment.
They also offer the confidence that we need and allow us to spend our time on more important decision-making matters. The following are the most significant reasons why we should consider using robots in manufacturing:
- Robots work efficiently and save time all the way from managing raw material to packing the final product.
- It’s possible to customize a single robot to perform multiple tasks simultaneously.
- The robots do not need breaks and they can work 24/7 for continuous production.
- It allows organizations to stand out from the competition, and that’s why the trend to use robotics in manufacturing is dramatically increasing.
- Automation, like in other fields, is always cost and time effective, and robotics can support companies of any size, even in small shops.
- Robots allow you to save your money by freeing up human resources that you have to spend in multiple streams.
- Robotics in manufacturing also helps workers by keeping them from dangerous, mundane, and repetitive tasks.
Robotics will require a specialized skill set
For many people, robotics is a new field, and a significant proportion of them think that using robotics is unethical because it eliminates human jobs. The fact of the matter is that robotics is also creating new job opportunities as well. There are some skill sets that we should learn in order to use robotics for our manufacturing, some of which are the following:
- Solving complex problems
- Programming mindset
- Robotics savvy or tech savviness
- Python programming
- Systems thinking
- Cognitive flexibility and adaptability
- Critical thinking
- Basics of artificial intelligence
- Ability and willingness to learn new trends and technologies
Revolutionizing the assembly line
There are tasks that humans just cannot perform, such as handling micro parts or lifting heavy equipment. However, we’ve been using machines to lift the heavy equipment for so long. But such machines still need human efforts to perform their actions. In comparison, the artificially intelligent robots don’t need any input once they are programmed and never make mistakes. It is one of the most significant reasons why more products are made for robotic assembly.
Robots have all types of sensors, and they reduce the need for costly tooling and fixturing. They can also sense and work accordingly if any assembly issue occurs. That’s why any organization can benefit from robots for manufacturing purposes. The initial investment will be considerable, but the benefits that robots bring make it worthwhile.
RAAS, an opportunity
RaaS (Robotics as a Service) is a huge opportunity because it allows the manufacturers to utilize AI and robotic power by acquiring the latest aspects of manufacturing. It’s a cloud-based system that enables us to remove the cost to pay for costly automation upgrades. It also allows us to change our system accordingly if we experience a change in requirements.
Also Read: 6 hours of robots!
The biggest benefit of acquiring robotics as a service is that we don’t need to install any necessary infrastructure for the traditional implementations. RaaS can utilize already existing on-site robotic hardware by using cloud-based automation techniques and programming. The only requirement is to train the robot by supplying power. It provides us with a faster production environment by adjusting the capabilities on the run.
Robotics and IoT
IoT (Internet of Things) and robotics go hand in hand with each other by lowering costs and boosting efficiency at the same time. Generally, they enhance the performance of operations by incorporating more aware and smarter forms of automation. Though traditional robotic automated systems are fairly simple, it certainly doesn’t mean that robots don’t have complex machinery. It means that the operations and duties robots perform are straightforward and repetitive. That’s why robotics have not been suitable where critical thinking and improvisation is required, until recently.
The IoT is drastically transforming robotics and the way automation works. The new technologies are working on robotics with the help of IoT to enable robots to perform unrecognizable operations. The IoT is changing the robotics field by the following:
- Provides a more cognitive approach to robots that allows them to learn with time
- Empowers co-bots
- Enables optimal synchronization
- Increases control and customization opportunities
- Enhances the possibilities to explore new concepts
- Enhances manufacturer as well as end-user convenience
Source – YouTube, AWS Summit.
Conclusion – Robotics and manufacturing.
It’s just a matter of time when robotics will be working in all the manufacturing organizations. That’s why we must take bold steps to adopt RPA. As robotic automation continues to emerge, we’ll experience transforming across the global manufacturing industry like never before.