Robotics in Factories
The Adoption and Advantages of Robotics in Factories
At Kontroltek, we come across robotics in factories every day. Both on and off-site, our engineers repair industrial robots and the parts inside them.
In this blog, we’ll be looking at automation in manufacturing — specifically, the adoption and advantages of robotics.
Industrial Robot Adoption
Industrial robots are being adopted across the planet to increase productivity and reduce costs. Since 2009, countries have been adopting more industrial robots year-on-year. In 2017, the IFR estimated that worldwide annual shipments of industrial robots hit 387,000, 31% more than 2016.
It is the automotive industry continues to lead the demand for growth: In 2017, around 125,000 units were sold in the industry. The metals, electrical and food & beverage industries are the next biggest adopters.
Asia has the largest individual markets with China, Japan and South Korea leading the way, respectively. The USA is the fourth biggest and Germany fifth.
The US, UK and the rest of Europe have been slow to implement robotics in their factories.
The coronavirus outbreak will likely cause a decline in robotic adoption in 2020 and even in 2021. But, at a time where we need more social distancing, labour is expensive and capital is cheap, it makes sense for manufacturers to adopt robots in their factories.
SMEs can even take advantage of low-interest rates and invest in robotics now.
Our On-Site Engineer Dan Williams Programming a Robot to increase efficiency and accuracy.
Advantages of Robotics in Factories
Robotics in factories allows manufacturers to automate tasks like welding, material handling and assembling. In the automotive industry, robots remove workers from exposure to fumes from welding and painting, for example.
Robots do the dangerous and dirty tasks, so humans don’t have to.
The main advantages of robotics in factories are:
- Safety — can complete dangerous tasks involving sharp objects or extreme temperatures
- Speed — robots work at the speed you choose
- Consistency — the robot will reliably repeat what it has been programmed to do
- Quality — same output and fewer mistakes made
- Productivity — robots can work 24/7 and lose little efficiency
- Cost — for the past 30 years, labour costs have been going up and robot prices have been going down
Even though there are all these advantages for manufacturers, there is one reoccurring question: do robots create or take away jobs?
The answer is that we’re still not sure. The WEF claims robots will displace 75 million jobs globally by 2022 but also create 133 million new ones. The idea is that the operator who currently does a repetitive task will move to quality control, providing the finishing touches on the robot’s work.
KUKA Robotics Repairs – Kontroltek offer comprehensive repairs and servicing on all KUKA Robots.
ABB has over 400,000 industrial robots installed globally. Their comprehensive range means improved safety, productivity and quality for manufacturers.
From the smallest robots like the IRB 1100 to the heaviest robots, IRB 8700, can carry out assembling, loading, driving, insertion, polishing, grinding and more.
Fanuc has a wide range of industrial robots that can carry out any type of application. Their range includes articulated, collaborative, delta, palletising, arc wielding, top mount, paint and SCARA series robots.
Kontroltek provides world-beating prices for Fanuc repairs and part exchanges.
KUKA is one of the world’s most popular industrial robot manufacturers. At Kontroltek, we have KUKA robots on-site to carry out testing of parts we have repaired.
KUKA has a useful case studies page that allows you to search by application, product, technology and industry.
ABB Robotics Repairs – Kontroltek are ABB experts, we service, repair and program all ABB Robotics.
Finding the Right Robot
There is a growing amount of robotics in factories, even for SMEs. It isn’t a case of if but when. Robots can carry out applications like welding, material handling and packaging, pick and place, dispensing, cutting and painting.
If you are considering installing a robot, you should look at which parts of your operation you can automate. After this, you can seek professional advice from manufacturers or third-party sellers.
Get more than one quote. Search “industrial robot” or “buy industrial robot” and there’ll be a long list of companies that can help you find the right robot.
Lewys Gammond Phillips
Marketing Officer, Kontroltek Ltd