OpsScoop Issue 7: Robotics: Revolutionizing Manufacturing

In the manufacturing sector, Robots were first used by General Motors in 1961. GM introduced Unimate, a 4000 pound  arm, that could perform tasks which were dangerous and needed consistent precision.  It covered three shifts in a 24-hour routine without resulting in any overtime or sluggishness. This was the first step that marked the advent of Robotics in the manufacturing sector.

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Industrial robots are revolutionizing the manufacturing sector. As the company realizes the cost effectiveness that robotics brings in, the robots are being programmed to do more. Initially, the robots were primarily used to perform monotonous jobs like packaging, sealing, movement of goods etc. The standard robot models are produced at a large scale to meet the requirements across different industries. As a matter of fact, 29 % of robots used in the manufacturing sector are welders, followed by assembly robots which are mainly used in the auto-industry .

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Lately, with the introduction of inductive sensors , the robots are taking on more “human” capabilities. This involves functions such as testing, sensing and decision making.  With these the product quality tend to be significantly improved. Experts are counting on a “collaborative” workspace where the robots can work hand-in-hand with their human colleagues.  They can learn from the human behaviour and decision making trends.

Players in other industries like  Food & Beverage and Health  & Life Sciences have also implemented robots to perform tasks that require dexterity and precision that humans cannot achieve every time. Robots play a critical role in maintaining superior quality of products and saving time. Amount of money invested in robot manufacturing start-ups and the number of published patents only indicate that robotics technology are about to find the tipping point of mass adoption.

 

 References:

https://www.pwc.com/us/en/industrial-products/assets/industrial-robot-trends-in-manufacturing-report.pdf

http://science.howstuffworks.com/robots-changed-manufacturing.htm

 

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