In the modern factory, automation is an important prerequisite. In previous years, automation meant investing most of the company’s cash chest or becoming heavily indebted to acquire robots. Now, automation is made possible by the use of collaborative robots. They are highly affordable in comparison to traditional robots and much safer to use.
Any kind of manufacturer can acquire a collaborative robot. They are in use in large auto manufacturing companies and in small, speaker manufacturing outlets. Collaborative robots not only improve the production process, they also ensure that jobs are not lost. Usually, companies that acquire these robots end up employing more people rather than laying them off.
Universal Robots is the leading collaborative robot manufacturer worldwide. Over their years of existence they have created and installed over 25,000 collaborative robots in manufacturing companies in diverse sectors of the economy all over the world.
Their most popular collaborative robot is the UR5 robotic arm. This robotic arm is loved and used in many factories owing to its superior weight load, wide reach on its working area, flexibility and its ease of use. In addition, it is easy to program and set up.
Often, when companies buy these robotic arms, they also require certain accessories that increase their effectiveness and efficiency in the tasks assigned. These accessories enhance the robot’s capabilities and help companies produce high quality products.
Applications of the robotic arm accessories
There is a myriad of accessories available for the robotic arm. These accessories are used in the robot for the following functions:
The collaborative robot prides itself in being a robot that is safe for humans to work with. Unlike, the traditional robot, the collaborative robot works alongside human factory workers. To enhance their safety standards, sensors can be installed in the robot.
These sensors ensure that the robot can sense human presence around it while it carries out its activities. Often, the robot is programmed to halt its activities as soon as a human being is within its working range.
These sensors ensure that the robots does not cause any harm to anyone who could be working alongside it in the factory.
For the robotic arm to be highly effective in its tasks, it needs vision. Therefore, there are accessories that enable the robotic arm to acquire this capability.
One of the task that the robotic arm needs vision for, is a pick and place task. A robotic arm, located at the end of an assembly line to pick products from the assembly line for packing in a box, need to discern which products to pick. To do this effectively, it is fitted with a specially built camera.
This camera allows it to see, the products that it is picking, measure its dimension and place it where it is supposed to be placed. Where the product is slightly defective, the robot will be able to sense this and place the defective item away from the good quality products.
For their ability to perform multiple tasks in the factory, robotic arms need to move about. With the accessories that ease their mobility, it is much easier and convenient for a factory to have only a single robot carry out multiple functions.
Usually, mobility accessories are like trollies specially made for the purpose of moving around a robotic arm. They have wheels and handles from which they can be pulled or pushed to deliver the robotic arm to its next work station.
These accessories, eliminate the burden of having to lift and carry the robot around in a busy factory setting.
Often, as the robot works, its human handlers need to know what it is doing. The robot handler at any factory, needs to receive prompt feedback from the robot on any task that it could be involved in. This helps in measurement of its activity and also to know when it may be faulty and not working at optimum levels.
Accessories to serve this purpose are fixed on to the robotic arm and enable it to communicate with its operators via the internet. This enhances its monitoring and ensures high level of production at all times and fast response to any errors or need for adjustments.