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:
• Trigger and Output
• System in Scope
• High-Level process in scope
• Detailed process description
• Process Details
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.