Category: Robotic Automation

Manufacturing Robots Dos and Don’ts

Manufacturing robots refers to a common practice of automating repetitive, tasks across the manufacturing process. The company objective is to reduce manual errors, increase production task and save costs. There are many manufacturing robots for sale but not all of them suit the automation task you want to achieve.

Which manufacturing task should you automate?

This simple question needs a clear answer, it is important before starting in automation to have a clear objective of which tasks need to be automated.

In summary, the criteria for selecting the right robot automation for any manufacturing applications are:

• Tasks with high error rates in the process
• Dangerous or arduous tasks for workers
• Manufacturing processes with an automatic task but require manual intervention
• Night shift tasks
• Repetitive tasks
• High-quality products
• Tasks that need skill workers
• Manually triggered processes

Dos of robotic automation

Industrial robots are widely used in car manufacturing but they are not only relevant for large enterprises, but SME’s (small and medium enterprises) as well.

Everything we do, need a plan to avoid increasing the cost or rework the project. It is crucial to understand how to start, we intend to provide a guide as robot integrator and also as one of the automation companies in the UK.

Walkthrough of the existing process

Before automating a process, it is important to a walkthrough of the existing process with the responsible manager or people involved in the process. Whether you are large enterprises or SME’s enterprises.

Write a Detailed Process Document

Prepare a detailed process map with all elements that need to be improved, like the following:
• Purpose
• Scope
• Trigger and Output
• System in Scope
• High-Level process in scope
• Detailed process description
• Process Details
• ScreenShots

It is always good to come back to this document after the system is installed or during the installation or robot automation process.

Create a diagrams process map

The detailed process document is useful as a reference and saves a lot of time, but a diagram or process map helps you to visualise the whole process. However, it shows the interaction between process components and emphasize that concept phase of the investment lifecycle and is intended to describe the conceptual design of the proposed system.

This document provides a framework for more detailed requirements and design activities in the later phases of the project. Therefore, if the process is complex and it is necessary to create multiple workflows integrating, the diagram can be reused for each step of the automation.

Search for the right Robot Integrator

There are many system integrators but not all have robot integration experiences. It is essential to request for real cases studies especially cases related to the application the company are planning to perform.

Knowledge of the market is essential, and an integrator must keep updated on new technologies. Therefore, it is ideal to meet with the integrator, they can help the company to understand the steps of the integration and what it is involved.

Don’t of robotic automation

Here are some of the common mistakes that must be avoided during manufacturing robots process.

Selecting the wrong industrial robot

Not all industrial robots are suitable for all robot applications. It is not easy to start the automation, if a manufacturing process is wrongly automated, it might lead to a waste of time and money. It even renders the whole exercise a failure.

Readability Simple script code

It is always the assumption that the developer is the only one who needs to read the code. It is the main reason why the readability of code is often ignored but the developer should not retain the code for a long time. For instance, programming robots in a simple, well structure and understanding code help companies to avoid future issues.

Furthermore, a new developer may not understand the coding of the actual developer. Therefore, using best practices for readability is essential for new and experienced developers.

Rushing into automation

Companies may tend to rush through the design process without finalising the design, exposing to errors, incorrect robot automation or lack of understanding about the whole process which leads to wrong decisions.

It is important to leave scope for future modifications or expansion. Review the scope document carefully and make sure to include a robot integration deadline.

Maintenance and breakdown

Planning for breakdown and future maintenance is often ignored. Keep a proper maintenance program to avoid breakdown.

The goal here is to test each component after the automation, provide proper robotic training to the staff to reduce the breakdown due to lack of knowledge. However, to ensure the manufacturing robot team stays in sync with automated systems, consider periodic demos of the performance of the whole process.

How much do manufacturing robots cost?

Manufacturing robots cost vary according to the task that the robot will perform, the payload and the automated equipment included on the system. Please check out our Robot Automation System ROI Calculator to get an idea of the cost. Likewise, it is essential to contact a system integration company that can help reduce the cost of the project.

Phoenix intend to provide a do and don’ts guidance for manufacturing robots but it is important to consult a robot integrator to customize you entirely project based on your needs. Contact Us for free consultation or check out robot applications: milling robots, welding robots, and more.

Robotics in Manufacturing

Manufacturers remain reluctant to implement robotic in their production process but a majority of those surveyed found robotics in manufacturing will improve productivity and safety. However, one of the big challenges is the shortage of skilled workers in manufacturing.

Other missing factors are the lack of leadership or management skills and automation knowledge. In spite of challenges, still confidence in manufacturing to fill the gap with their own workforce based on-the-job experience.

2018 Salary Survey: Skilled worker shortage, challenges

It is true that industrial robots are helping manufacturers because project manager supervises less employees, but it will not solve all management skill problems. In fact, there is a lack of robotic automation skills for a successful of the automation project.

According to 2018 Plant Engineering Salary Survey , finding more workers is the singular issue facing the industry. Finding leaders from among the current workforce is a less visible issue, but it will become a greater concern as the older workers move closer to retirement.

Get peace-of-mind with Robot Automation

All plants have some form of robotics in their facilities, robots offer peace-of-mind because they produce high-quality work. Therefore, improving productivity.

They can also be predictable allowing employees to focus on other tasks. In fact, training and keeping the operators are more expensive than maintenance and the programming of the robots.

One more factor to consider is that they can be reprogrammed to perform a other applications and refurbished to extend their useful life by providing proper maintenance.

On the following chart, we can see the main benefits of robotics in manufacturing. In this survey productivity is the highest robotic value for manufacturing.

Robot Integrator companies provide training to the operators and we are helping employees to start in automation.

Phoenix offers a complete package of robot automation system for any robot applications from a single robot cell design to an assembly production line including control panel, electrical panel wiring, electrical panel design.

See also Top 5 Reasons why robotics benefit you

Industrial Automation New Technology

Mobile Technology is moving into Industrial Automation

In recent years industrial automation new technology such as the mobile devices are playing an important role in every aspect of our lives and they are increasingly demanding with automation systems changing how data is analysed, stored and acquired.

Hence, some larger industrial control companies already have integrated mobile with data acquisition application to their automation products. In addition, they are integrating mobile communications systems for better performance.

Mobile capabilities for Automation Systems

Hardware and software are part of the operations technologies in manufacturing plants, while information technology is for mobile communication systems. For instance, by integrating these two technologies, the end users engage their mobile devices with no restrictions. It requires to install specific software and more advanced programming or configuration. Therefore, using a familiar web browser gives users the capability to do some setup in mobiles or tables devices. Eventhough, PC access nor internet is required to do the work. Why to invest in robot technology ? See the main advantages of this new technology.

10 Top Advantages of Mobile Technology for Industrial Automation

Traditional Industrial Automation include more complex architectures or steps while mobile technology provides simplified solutions. Also, see some of the advantages of the newer technology:

1. Improves data flow
2. Control who can have access to the data
3. Data provides additional services to customers and improve machine design.
4. Operators can monitor equipment located remotely or in hazardous areas
5. Progressive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) will build the right data points into their equipment and gather results from a machine, a site, or even multiple sites
6. Management team and OEMs can access information from industrial automation systems from their Mobile
7. Remotely assess operating conditions
8. Reduce energy consumption and maintenance costs, and to improve efficiency
9. Access to more detail data; when and where owners of staffs need it
10. Preventive or predictive maintenance via details analysis

Mobile Security Concern

Even though the adding of mobile devices have advantages, it can also raise concerns about who can see or change industrial controller data. For instance, in a traditional systems a serial cable connect the the hardwired interface terminal to a PLC, the HMI user experience is local and separated from the rest of the world.

Security is also of great concern because it demands more attention for a mobile device on Wi-Fi network, or connecting over the internet. In other words, it means all efforts shoudl focus on the security over external jackers.

Robot Automation Systems

The mobile devices and applications are now advancing into the industrial robot automation systems because robot system is integrated to the plant operation process. Industrial robot – new robot or used industrial robots – are part of whole process and they can also be monitored on how data is acquired, viewed, stored, analysed and acted upon.

Therefore, factories can include any application such as robot milling, robot palletising, robot cutting, trimming, Robot robotic welding, or painting robot as part of their industrial automation.
Whereas factories want to include control systems, robot automation or mobile technology into your automation systems, it is crucial to consult with a Control System Integrator, Robot Integrator or both depends of the complex of the project.

Nevertheless, Industrial integrators will advise and guide you throughout the whole process saving time and cost.

See other Robot 3D Printing Technology

Industrial Automation Systems How to Stay Competitive

Industrial automation systems offer a variety of automation solutions to help manufacturer. Some industrial automation are more complex than others, for this reason, it is imperative to find an industrial automation companies with experience on this subject.

Starting with automation may be high initial cost but the advantages are worthless, for example some of the most well-known benefits include faster production and cheaper labour costs. Also, automation will carry on with a minimum human intervention while reduce operation time and improved product quality by consistency on the process.

Automation use various Industrial Control Systems to perform the operation of a specific process in factories. Even though, not all process can be automated, it will help manufacturers to stay competitive.

Top elements by using Industrial Control Systems

An important part of Industrial Control Systems include a programmable logic controller(PLC). PLCs are used to synchronize the flow of inputs and outputs and Human-machine interfaces (HMI) will communicate with PLCs and other computers to display any event on the screen. Hence, the operator will monitor the entirely process.

Some most frequent terms related to the industrial automation system include Control Panels, Electrical Control wiring and programming. Therefore, it is important that the system integrator company provides a detail document to help the customers for future expansion.

Industrial Robot Automation

Industrial robot arm are also part of the industrial automation process. Therefore, industrial robots help companies in manufacturing process or harsh environments for human. They are extremely accurate machines.

There are many industrial robot applications from simple robotic welding systems with one single robot arm to more complex procedures in a production line factory which involves several industrial robots or other machines interface.

Why a Robot Integrato?r

A robot integrator will design a robot system according to your needs including robot cell design, robot training or industrial robot programming. They will do the full robotic systems integration using new robot or used industrial robots.

The concepts of the Industrial automation systems are changing is not just industrial control systems or robotic automation systems, but also the new introduction of the digital transformation or Internet of Things (IOT). It means, the main goal of companies is not only automating operation process, but also fully automating the data.

Digital Tranformation or Internet of Things

While the vast majority of respondents, more than 80%, say their organizations see digital technology as an opportunity, only 26% say their companies see it as a risk. The fact is what is good for one company can be just as good for another — competitors may be able to quickly catch up, see more Detoitte Report.

Whatever the end state of digital transformation turns out to be, reaching it is not simply about technology. Digital transformation is the product of strategy, culture and leadership. Digital transformation is about strategy, networking, culture changes, and process analysis.

Industrial Automation Trends

Understanding the existing Industrial automation trends would guide companies to take the best partner to implement the transformation and which of them are the most reliable and experienced.

Phoenix would keep our customers updated with the latesst news related to Industrial Automation in the UK. Our customers sucess is our success.

The future of Robotic Automation Systems

Robotic automation systems

THE NEW FUTURE FOR ROBOTIC AUTOMATION SYSTEMS STARTED

The future of robotic automation systems is here with new technologies. It could be the start of a new era of working with robots cooking, robot serving food, robot surgery or what about robot in the construction, lawyers, architecture design?  Who knows what else we will hear about working with robot in the near future!

As well as the many automotive applications, robots are now found in a variety of other industries with this wider use, there has been a significant increase in the number of people or industries that need to work with robots including the process designers, control engineers, architects to mention some of them.

Restaurant’s Robotics Technologies

Manufacturers of new robots are busy launching new products in the past year and, although the take-up still varies between market sectors as automotive, plastic/rubber and food/beverage are the largest users, but new industries are emerging.  Some restaurant has taken a huge step into the future investing in new robotics technologies  Yes, you can finally say that you can be served by a robot!

Medicine is using industrial robots

Scientists in the US have developed an autonomous surgical robot designed specifically to suture – or stitch up – soft tissue. And in testing, this surgical machine – which, it will operate entirely independently of human control. The results, reported in Science Translational Medicine, compare things such as the quality of the suturing, along with the amount of time the surgery took, and the number of mistakes made.

Robot Servicing

Lawyers can get the information with an “artificial-intelligence attorney”. Its capabilities of learning allow it to continue improving its answers and also help keep lawyers up-to-date about new rulings and by reading carefully through every single case it provides quickly the information that might be relevant to the cases. We may probably see them in the courtroom anytime soon.

Robot Integrator

We will find the robotic automation systems not only in robot milling, robotic material handling or robotic welding systems but also in many others unthinkable areas. Phoenix Robotic will keep you updated with the new technologies nowadays simply visit our website www.phoenixrobotic.com and Contact Us.

Check Out this article

What to consider on New or Used Robot Integration?

Used robots integration

New and used Robots Integration

Used Robots are more popular and affordable each year.  What is your Industry – Automotive, medical, maritime, manufacturing, logistics, construction, infrastructure, mining, oil and gas, military, hospitality, consumer, airborne, security, and transportation?. Do not worry, new or used robots cut across every industry. This technology so powerful and so ready to change everything.

When considering an automation, you should ask the question “What are our goals?” By identifying goals before starting the process, the company can determine if an automation is a right solution. Those goals may include improved throughput, increased quality or simplified training for robots operators. Once a company identifies the challenges and goals, then it’s important for operations to choose the right new or used robots that best fits their current and future needs.

Elements to consider when install a new or used robots:

  • Choose new or used robot according to the payload required
  • The mechanical and electrical installation of the robot and it’s commissioning.
  • The end of arm tooling and electrical installation
  • The Cell control panel with or without PLC and HMI.
  • The mechanical, electrical installation and testing of the cell control panel, guarding, safety systems, fixtures and part transfer systems
  • The workpiece fixtures of the parts and exiting the finished parts after the robot operations.
  • The cell guarding and operator access
  • The programming for the robot operations
  • Standby during production run-up
  • Training and Preventive maintenance

All these terms seem complicated but Phoenix will guide you through the automation process. We can do a complete installation or if you prefer to do some of the work to reduce cost, we will be more than happy to supervise the works you are able to do.

Project Management for new and used robots integration

Managing of all the phases in a systems integration or installation of the new or used robots are an involved process. From the design and install, to test and commissioning, all the various tasks will be managed until the completion of the project. Our project manager will carefully plan and schedule the complete process from start to finish to manage all the details and carry out quality checks throughout the different phases of the project, liaising with you the client at each stage.

Why you should invest in robotics & robot automation?

Robot automation & Robotics equipment

Robot automation & robotics equipment are easier to calculate the Return on Investment (ROI)  than when you are investing in share or stocks market.  In fact, we can say that manufacturing is probably losing money if they don’t have robots in their automation process.

By 2019, more than 1.4 million new industrial robots will be installed in factories around the world. The strongest growth drivers for the robotics industry are found in China. So says the 2016 World Robotics Report, as published by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR).

The current global leader in industrial robot automation is South Korea (478 units), followed by Japan (314 units), Germany (292 units) and USA (164 units).  See more Survey: 1.3 million industrial robots to enter service by 2018

Lower levels of robot automation investment among small and medium enterprises (SMEs) may be due to the concerns over the costs, although the falling cost of robotics technology may make automation more accessible to small and medium companies.

In which areas your business has the greatest opportunity for future investment in Industrial Robots & robotics equipment?

Manufacturing parts see an opportunity for automation, many others areas such as assembly, packing, machine loading and palletisation are also increasing. Therefore, these and others applications are increasing each year.  Companies may have the opportunity to invest where there is greater potential to increase productivity.

Why more and more companies are investing in robots?  Big enterprises as Google Inc. has been acquiring multiple robotics companies for over two years, but Google is primarily an online adverting company that trades. Others big enterprises as Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. are interesting, but not pure investment plays in robot automation.

Companies would like to have more information from suppliers about how automation will improve their business before their invest in robot automation or any robot equipment, Phoenix would provide you the most recent information to help you to take this very important decision.

Where does automation have the biggest impact?

Sectors indicating the highest levels of robot automation are heavy industry, medical devices and building products. Our economic also highlighted different between UK manufacturing sub-sectors.

robot automation

What areas will impact on investing in robot automation or robotics equipment?

There are a numbers of areas that will increase when investing in robot or robotics equipment, some of them are:

  1. Productivity and quality of the products
  2. Consistency with minimum or none errors
  3. Better cycle time of manufactured the products
  4. The number of health and safety issues
  5. Increased waste created by the operation of the business

Our economic suggests increased in automation would not only have a positive impact, but would also safeguard manufacturing jobs in the future and it would also benefit in creating new jobs opportunity in others related industries. People perception is that increasing automation has a negative effect in manufacturing workforce.

See more interesting data and graph: Survey from Barclays “Future-proofing UK Markets” 

Robotic Systems main components

It’s time to buy a robot? There are three main robotic systems components to consider when you decide to buy an industrial robot. As the digital economy continues most businesses realize they need to keep their company agile and flexible. Adding robotic systems is a great way to accomplish this, as it’s fairly simple to change the robot’s settings to do what you need it to do and remember that you want to overestimate your needs to allow for future expansion and changes in production. See also robotic welding.

Robotic systems main components

Controller

Every robot has a computer, which keeps the pieces of the arm working together. This computer is known as the controller. The controller functions as the “brain” of the robot and the controller also allows the robot to work together with other machines, processes, or robots.

Robots have controllers that are run by programs. However, the robot program is a set of code’s instructions. Today, people program the robots and they do only what they are asking to do at the time and nothing else. In the future, controllers with artificial intelligence could allow robots to think on their own, even program themselves. This could make robots more self-reliant and independent.

Manipulator Arm

Many robots resemble human arms, and have shoulders, elbows, wrists, even fingers. This gives a robot lots of options for moving, and helps it do things in place of a human arm.

In order to reach any possible point in space within its work envelope, a robot needs a total of 6 degrees of freedom. Each direction a joint can go gives an arm 1 degree. As a result, many robots of today move in at least 6 ways.

Teach Pendant

Teach pendants are typically handheld devices to program the robot step by step. All robots manufacturing have their own teach pendants models.

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