Cobots with 3 typical advantages and disadvantages



cobotsCollaborative robots, or cobots, are becoming more and more popular among manufacturers as they adopt factory automation technologies. This is because cobots are less expensive than traditional robots and are ideal for industrial tasks including material handling, assembly, inspection, and packing. Prior to putting a collaborative robot into use, it’s crucial to comprehend the distinctions between an industrial robot and a cobot and to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of this widely used automation technology.

What Distinguishes Cobots from a Robot?

A new breed of industrial robots called collaborative robots is made to operate closely and securely alongside human workers in industrial environments. Collaborative robots (cobots) and conventional robots vary primarily in that the former include sophisticated navigation systems, safety sensors, and software algorithms that enable them to autonomously stop when they collide with objects or people and apply the least amount of force possible.

This implies that, in contrast to traditional robotic automation, cobots don’t require segregated work cells or safety barriers to operate among and interact with people.

Similar to traditional robots, collaborative robots are designed to increase industrial process throughput by effectively automating repetitive tasks, freeing up human workers to concentrate on tasks requiring higher cognitive functions and/or greater dexterity. Rather than replacing human operators, collaborative robots aim to enhance productivity.

Lastly, compared to ordinary industrial robots, which are usually used for a single task over their manufacturing lifetime, collaborative robots are usually more versatile and simpler to reprogram than traditional robotic automation technologies. This allows them to be used more freely across the facility.

In many applications, there is no need for extra expenditures in safety barriers since cobots offer characteristics that can be employed in practically every production setup. Manufacturers frequently use cobots over traditional robots, especially when they are just starting to implement automation, because they are also more affordable and adaptable enough to be introduced to other departments within the same firm. Although this is an excellent approach, before investing in a cobot, it’s important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of collaborative robots. The top three benefits and drawbacks of these industrial miracles are highlighted below.

Top 3 Advantages of Collaborative Robots

Cobots are Cost Efficient:

Due to their smaller size and lower complexity, collaborative robots are typically less expensive to acquire than conventional robots. Cobots offer additional cost benefits throughout the course of its lifespan in addition to the initial savings. For instance, unlike traditional robotic automation, they often do not need a separate work cell or safety guarding to keep human workers safe. This requires less space in the facility and saves money on personnel, materials, and design for the infrastructure.

Furthermore, manual laborers who work with cobots don’t normally need the aid of an automation specialist since cobots are simple to program, and they don’t require a lot of technical expertise to operate. Together, this result in a shorter lifespan cost and a speedy return on investment.

Cobots are safer

Because they include safety measures that allow them to slow down or stop when they detect a person or physical obstacle approaching, preventing accidents and crashes. Furthermore, if a collision does happen, the impact won’t be strong enough to harm a human operator thanks to integrated force limiters.

Cobots are Adaptable and Flexible

Due to their smaller size, collaborative robots are typically more portable, which makes it simpler to move them around the facility. Furthermore, hand directing is a viable method of programming collaborative robots, negating the requirement for an automation specialist to instruct the robot in new movements or tasks. If changes are made to the product or process in the future, these features enable collaborative robots to be employed in a variety of procedures throughout the facility.

3 Disadvantages of Collaborative Robots

Heavy Loads are Beyond the Capacity of Cobots: Most conventional robots can effortlessly carry payloads up to 2 tons, but collaborative robots are often limited to 3 to 25 kg. This restricts the applicability of cobots to demanding tasks.

Cobots’ Top Speeds Are Limited

Unlike typical industrial robots, collaborative robots are made to operate in close quarters with human operators, therefore their top speeds are restricted. A cobot’s normal pace is around 250 mm/s, which is far slower than a traditional robotic automation system. If further safety precautions are taken to guarantee that speeds are lowered while people are around, this speed may be lowered even more. Although cobots are safer because to these qualities, they cannot be used in applications that demand the fastest possible speeds or maximum efficiency due to their slower speeds.

Cobots are Not Independent

Despite their ability to operate around the clock, collaborative robots frequently need human aid to finish a task. Therefore, as compared to typical robotic automation technologies, cobots may not be able to operate at full capacity and may have restricted efficiency and throughput in the operation when shift workers are not available around-the-clock to offer cooperation or supervision.

Although collaborative robots are a great option for increasing efficiency through automation and have many benefits, it’s crucial to weigh all of the disadvantages before making a purchase. Conventional robotic technology could be more appropriate if the application calls for speed, large weights, and round-the-clock operation. To ensure that all safety regulations and specifications are fulfilled, a risk assessment must also be carried out.

If you are interested in Cobots or want to know more about how to improve production efficiency, please contact Robotnext today for advice and cost support. Details via hotline: 0909 914 837.

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