The automotive industry continues to demonstrate a commitment to the integration of robotics into manufacturing. Despite the challenges, General Motors made the bold decision to install Unimate on their assembly line, an early example of robotic integration. The company envisioned the technology as beneficial for its company but did not know exactly how to integrate it into its manufacturing process.
Demand for automation is growing outside of the automotive industry
Automation is a major tool for improving production and processes in the automotive industry. It allows manufacturers to respond to market demand faster, reduces manufacturing downtime, and improves supply chain efficiency. Demand for automation in the industry is expected to grow by USD 1.95 billion from 2021 to 2026. During this time, the market will experience strong growth at a CAGR of 3.89%.
The automotive industry is one of the world's most advanced industries when it comes to automation. This industry has embraced automation since the 1960s, and there are few un-optimized supply chains in the industry today. Initially, carmakers used simple mechanization and gradually moved on to industrial robotics. General Motors was the first carmaker to introduce an industrial robot, Unimate. Later, the automotive industry began to embrace digital automation and began using automation in the supply chain.
While the automotive industry is the industry with the highest concentration of robotics, demand for automation is growing outside of the auto industry as well. Non-automotive manufacturers, led by the electronics industry, are seeing rapid growth in robotics.
Demand for robots is increasing within the industry
In recent years, the demand for industrial robots has grown dramatically in the automotive industry. Industrial robots help factories and warehouses to reduce waste, increase productivity, and increase customer satisfaction. Industrial robots are also less expensive than human labor. The number of robots sold increased by 48 percent between 2005 and 2014. The global market for industrial robots was around $55 billion in 2020.
The automotive supply industry has driven the increase in industrial robots across North America, with investments increasing by 40 percent every year. These investments are being spurred by new quality standards, energy efficiency, and new materials. Foreign suppliers have also been expanding their production capacities with robotic technology. As a result, the automotive industry is expected to continue to grow.
In addition to increasing productivity, industrial robots improve safety and accuracy. They can adapt to changes in incoming materials and can reduce part-to-part variability. This leads to fewer mistakes, improved customer satisfaction, and lower warranty costs.
Applications of co-bots in automotive production
Co-bots can perform a variety of tasks in the automotive production process. From dispensing materials to machine tending, to inspection, testing, and finishing, co-bots can do it all. These robots are easy to install and can be programmed to perform specific tasks. Some are even equipped with vision systems that recognize colors, shapes, and locations. They can also scan parts for defects and raise warnings if they detect one.
Because co-bots have 6 axes, they are ideal for assembly tasks, where they can be used for precision tasks. They are also very lightweight and compact. As a result, they can be placed in close proximity to humans and can handle a surprisingly heavy payload. They also perform extremely precise tasks, such as welding. This is particularly important because welding tasks can be one of the most dangerous tasks in a production facility. Co-bots are often equipped with force sensors so that they can do these jobs safely and accurately.
The automotive industry is one of the most likely to benefit from co-bots. Many of the jobs that humans perform are dangerous, and co-bots can reduce these risks by performing many of these tasks automatically. While they may cost more upfront, co-bots are highly beneficial to OEMs, Tier 1 suppliers, and other automotive suppliers. They can make the entire supply chain more accurate and efficient.
There are several factors to consider when implementing co-bots in the automotive industry. First, manufacturers must design their robots with behaviors that are human-friendly, and they must also implement the appropriate training and education programs. While collaborative solutions are often mixed with fenceless robotics, this type of robotics is not essential. Modern safety devices provide great support for fenceless operations, and they can be easily integrated into traditional industrial robots.
Also, automotive manufacturers must consider the costs associated with modifying their manufacturing facilities. Human labor costs increase as vehicle sizes increase, and the number of parts and materials required increases. However, by implementing co-bots, automakers can reduce the cost of modifying assembly lines and produce new vehicle designs faster.
Finally, co-bots are often used to automate specific stages of manufacturing. Co-bots can do repetitive tasks such as placing bolts and installing engine block intake manifolds. Co-bots can also be used for large-scale painting operations. Since cars have a large surface area, co-bots can significantly speed up the process and ensure uniform coatings.
As the automotive industry looks to increase production while lowering costs, demand for automation is growing. Robots are becoming more prevalent as they are able to work longer hours without breaks and can create a more consistent product. However, co-bots offer an innovative solution that augments the abilities of human workers instead of replacing them. By working together, humans and co-bots can create a more efficient and effective production line. As the demand for automation grows, it is important for companies to stay up-to-date on the latest technology and solutions so they can remain competitive. Have you implemented any sort of automation in your business? What were the results?