Table of contents:
- Automation through growth, growth through automation
- Picture gallery
- Unilateral, repetitive tasks for mechanical assistants
Video: When Robots Build Robots
Across industries, the automation of assembly tasks in the manufacturing industry has experienced strong growth in recent years. In 2013 and 2014 alone, the worldwide sales figures for robots for assembly automation rose by 10 percent to 24,000 units sold. This emerges from the statistics “World Robotics”, which was compiled by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR). One of the main reasons for this increase is, among other things, that the unique properties of collaborative robots - so-called "cobots" - make it possible to automate more and more tasks that could previously only be solved by manual work on the assembly line. New collaborative robots are flexible, easy to program and use.After a successful risk assessment, manufacturers can integrate them into their production without or with only a minimal protective housing so that they can be operated by employees and used as effective tools.
Automation through growth, growth through automation
The automation of screwing tasks in the production of robot joints at Universal Robots is a good example of a practical and economically successful use of collaborative robot technologies: up to 2015, the production structure was relatively heavily influenced by manual labor. But with production doubling annually since 2010, it became clear that this solution would no longer be sustainable.
«In-house production must not become a bottleneck for further company growth. At the same time, the quality must be as high as possible, even with high utilization. Our goal is to reduce the cost of our production by 30 percent over the next three years. In addition to the price, competitive delivery times are an important parameter on the market. Although we already have one of the shortest deadlines in the industry on average, we continue to focus on optimizing our production. We are experiencing an explosion in demand for our products. We therefore want to show that we are able to scale our production accordingly, »says Troels Hornsved, Director Supply Chain at Universal Robots.
Unilateral, repetitive tasks for mechanical assistants
In total, around 400 screws are used to manufacture a UR robot arm. 28 screws are required to assemble just one of the six joints on each arm. In particular, the manual screwdriving processes for joint assembly cost a lot of work in the rapidly growing production of universal robots. For this reason, the manufacturer decided to hand over these one-sided, repetitive tasks to its own products. In 2015, the management of Universal Robots decided to implement leaner production with identical production lines and clocked operation. As a result, four UR3 robots now work side by side with the employees in the assembly department and assemble the robot joints for the UR3, UR5 and UR10 robots.
"Our robots are also very useful for us as manufacturers when it comes to repetitive tasks," says Kurt Hansen, operations engineer at Universal Robots. According to the company, the automation of these screwing tasks not only saves a lot of time in production. The UR3 robots also ensure consistent product quality, strengthen the production process and improve the work environment. In this way, human-robot collaboration also ensures better working conditions for the robot manufacturer itself and is associated with high human and economic benefits. The installation of the four UR3 robot arms at Universal Robots had already paid for itself after only one year.
Content of the article:
- Page 1: When robots build robots
- Page 2: In just a few steps to the finished joint
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