Industrial robots are a major source of productivity in nearly any manufacturing environment. Their repeatability, consistency, quality and speed give them an enormous cost advantage over manual processes. In nearly every vertical in the industrial sector, robots are seeing rapid adoption.
As robotic technology has matured, a number of industrial robot accessories have been developed to enhance productivity and overcome common obstacles in a typical manufacturing environment. This accessory technology is also evolving quickly as the constant need for higher productivity drives demand for constant innovation.
Industrial Robot Accessory Technologies that Enhance the Benefits of Automation
There are several different types of automation accessories that improve upon the existing advantages of industrial robots.
Robotic Vision Systems
A number of 2D and 3D vision systems exist to improve robotic accuracy and flexibility, with wide-ranging applications. Industrialized vision systems can be used in robotic welding for seam tracking to improve accuracy. Other advanced vision systems can be used in combination with advanced machine learning algorithms to help robots grasp objects they’ve encountered only just a few times or never at all. Visions systems dramatically improve the capabilities of robots.
Quick Change Tooling
Industrial robots require advanced tooling and end-effectors to properly carry out their assigned duties. To give robots greater flexibility, this tooling can be changed to allow the robot to conduct different tasks. However, this changeover period, when done manually, can be time-consuming and eat into the productivity gained through robotics. Automated quick change technology allows robots to rapidly switch tooling to conduct different tasks without swelling downtime, significantly accelerating the payback period of robotic systems.
Robotic Training and Programming
Programming robots was once a laborious task. This not only swelled integration costs but reduced the viability of robots to be reprogrammed for other tasks. Today, offline programming techniques can be used for industrial robots, allowing them to start operating the moment they’re installed. Many industrial robots also feature advanced HMIs to reprogram movement and operations for different products and processes. Other more advanced forms of robotics can be trained by being shown how to complete a process manually.
Industrial robots have many benefits for manufacturers. They’re known to increase throughput, decrease operating costs, and improve overall productivity and profitability. Alongside the rapid pace of innovation in robotics, robotic accessories have been developed to enhance the existing benefits of robotic technology.
To learn more on this topic, and get a sneak peak of what’s on the horizon, register for our free webinar, “What’s New in Robots and Accessories.”