Industrial robots are the ones which are widely put into manufacturing and assembly alongside other things in modern day world. Such are an assembly of circuits, chips, arms, end effectors etc, which is fully automated, programmable and can be moved along 3 or more axis. Typically, the robots are put into a handful of applications such as welding, painting, assembly, dis-assembling, pick and place, packaging, labelling, quality analysis, inspecting products, testing and so forth, but with speed, accuracy, precision and high degree of endurance.
Till some years ago, according to International Federation of Robotics (IFR), around 1.65 million robots were operational in various industries, across the globe, but as time goes by, such a number is likely to increase steeply.
Appearance of Industrial Robots:
Typically, an industrial robot embodies 3 main components, which are:
- Mechanics or Physical cum Mechanical Structure: This is how a robot actually appears like, its size, arms, screws and nuts planted in arms, programming intelligence, joints, lights, sensors, end effectors and so forth.
- Electronics: Such is the commanding framework propagating a signal through its tiny circuits and running of motors and propel such assembly (robot) into actions, following the info- processing which is again gathered through sensors.
- Computer Science: This part or an aspect of industrial robot (which is now common to every robot) transforms a mere electronic device into a robot, which is just an assembly of circuits and programs are executed that are pre-installed inside a box and are actually lines of codes comprising computer programs. Because of such programs, which are fed to accomplish specific task, robots are designed to accomplish the required set of tasks smoothly, quickly and with the underlying precision.
Now, robots just need input from users or from the surrounding environment, which it gathers through sensors, such info is processed and required actions are initiated accordingly.
Earlier, for a limited time period, robots were put into service to complete a set of specific tasks in selected industries, but as innovations by virtue of (unprecedented and unparallel) advancement in digital technology were brought into them, there has been marked a great evolution in such intelligent machines and presently robots are largely perceived as an integral part in a large array of applications thereby delivering high-end performance, such as:
- Assembly Operations,
- To paint and spray,
- Laser cutting operations,
- Inspecting units in production,
- Mobile robots, Packaging,
- Arc welding as in automobile industry.
No need to mention, but owing to such versatility, the large cluster of operations are being processed in a jiff, in an affordable way and with a promising endurance.
Categories Of Robots:
Industrial robots are so premium that we can impeccably split them into 3 categories:
- Cartesian Robots:
The underlying principle is the Cartesian equation in Maths. Such are designed to scatter movement along 3 axis (x,y,z) where linear path is precisely adhered to and with the end effector is always integrated with similar orientation. Rightly so, such type of mechanical cum electronic configuration is regarded as the simplest and the most affordable robots. However, there are present limited number of use cases in such this robot type which is because of unstructured orientation management.
2). DOF Robots:
Referring to “multi-degree of freedom” robots, such robot type is designed with additional axis and so are the exact articulations in such type of robots. A popular set-up in this regard can be one with 3 axis set for movement while 3 other axis reserved to be oriented towards end-effector, clearly the underlying element of precision and efficient manipulation of tasks. Such robots enjoy such a superior mobility that such can cover any distance and access any point with a directed precision. Now here, multitasking and complicated operations are simplified, as such robots, the circuits therein and the composition is meant for such end objectives.
Evidently, because of series of minute work and lengthy programming codes being inscribed therein, to meet such a wide range of functional objectives, the price is relatively higher than the rest and we can uncover a wide range of use cases, in regard to DOF.
3). SCARA Series:
Such is just the explicit combination of above mentioned robots, where movement, along 3 axis is called for but then, yet another axis is programmed for, which is specifically meant for the end-effector orientation in any given direction. No question about the fact that such robots are widely put into practice where “pick and place” tasks are largely handled.
Robots: The Most Phenomenal Aspect of Industry 4.0:
Sans doubt, robots hold the key for maximum performance, production efficiency, quick influx of products to warehouses, endurance and timely delivery of products across supply chains, quick decision making too, but still, it is observed that companies fall short of deploying them in major manufacturing tasks and corporate set-up and don’t generally make investment here. Clearly, one would need to pay around USD 120,000 as an average for procuring and installing any such robot type, in an industry. Especially, in small factories and SMBs, robots are indeed a costly deal but their returns (in form of gains out of their installation) can easily be maximized with years of working and implementation and as a consequence, next robotics revolution is about to take off to carry out a face-lift of manufacturing units across the world and to tackle key occupational challenges to stay ahead of competition.
Not surprisingly, accessible robots, will lead us to a golden age of the high-tech industry where robots will have command the operations and processes will be democratisized.
Please stay tuned for rich insights further, in such a fabulous world of robotics.