Collaborative robots, or cobots, are a big deal in making factories work better. They help factories be more flexible and do things without spending too much on fancy automation. But, there are problems when using cobots. This article will talk about these problems and give tips for buying cobots in a smart way.
Now, let’s get into it.
1. Operational Challenges:
Speed & Payload Limitations: Cobots can’t go really fast or lift heavy things. They move at about 250mm speed to make sure they’re safe. This might make them a bit slow for certain jobs.
Consistent Workstation Setup: To make cobots work well, it’s crucial to set up their workplace the same way each time. This helps them do their job right. While engineers can teach cobots to deal with changes, it’s better not to change things around too much in their workspace.
Advice: To keep cobots working well, be adaptable and make small changes in your operations. Be careful about how you organize your workspace and stick to guidelines for the best outcomes.
2. Human Involvement & Supervision:
Cobots Need Help: Cobots can work alone, but they often need people, especially at night when fewer folks are around. Humans are super important for dealing with surprises and making tough choices that cobots might find hard.
Advice: Understand the need for human supervision, and make sure you have enough staff to support cobot operations. Create clear ways for humans and cobots to communicate and work together effectively.
3. Safety Considerations:
Cobots Have Limits: Cobots can’t lift heavy stuff or go really far. They’re good for things between three to ten kilograms, but big robots can handle much heavier loads, up to two tonnes. This makes it tough to use cobots in heavy industries.
Safety Approvals Are Complicated:Making sure cobot workplaces are safe is tricky. It means getting different safety approvals, and that can be complex. If you change what the cobot does or where it works, you might need more permissions. Even though it’s for safety, it can slow things down with extra paperwork.
Advice: To make things smoother, create a virtual model of your workspace to understand risks. By planning and solving problems early, you can reduce safety concerns and speed up the approval process.
4. Privacy & Security:
Ownership of Data:We need to know who owns and keeps safe the data cobots make. It could be the user, the cobot maker, or the software provider. This is super important for keeping your company’s private info safe.
Advice: To keep your data safe, it’s a smart idea to use cobots offline, not linked to the internet. This way, your data stays private and secure, and unauthorized people can’t get to it. If you need internet access, be sure to connect the cobots to a safe local network to protect your important data.
Collaborative robots help manufacturers, but there are challenges. To make them work well, understand their limits, involve human workers, prioritize safety, and protect data.
Planning and preparation are key for a successful partnership between humans and cobots in factories.