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How Collaborative Robots Empower Manufacturing in the Era of 5G

The use of collaborative robots has become very widespread with the developing technology. With this spread, the usage areas of collaborative robots started to be a matter of curiosity. In this blog post, you can find the answers to following questions which are, “What is the importance of collaborative robots?”, “How collaborative robots strengthen production?”, “How will the scenarios brought by 5G Technology be implemented?” Happy reading!

What are the importance of colllaborative robots?

Today, with the increase in consumption, a large number of small-lot order demands have begun to occur, which traditional production cannot quickly respond to. As a result of new demands, there is an urgent need to transform manufacturing production into flexible production with small batch and short cycle features. This transformation creates the need for flexible automated production lines that can be changed quickly and flexibly. This emerging need means that production lines are shifting towards flexible production and increase in human-robot relationship.

Collaborative robots, which emerged due to the increasing human-robot relationship, are designed to make working in close proximity of humans safer. Collaborative robots are the fastest growing and most in demand category in the industrial robot market. They also outperform other conventional industrial robots.

Collaborative robots are the most human-like robotic arms aimed at efficiency by increasing human-robot collaboration. In addition, they can operate not only on production lines, but also in all kinds of different scenarios that you can think of. For example, in an unmanned environments such as cafes and coffee stations, it can perform simple movements such as pressing buttons, picking up and placing glasses and supplies. However, collaborative robots are not content with these simple movements and a well-programmed collaborative robot can even make latte art.

Otes Elektronik’s current collaborative robot product matrix, EC Series, is designed according to human-like logic, including final motion and dynamics design, modular hardware structure design, flexible and reliable adaptation software, and multi-language support.

In practical applications, the EC Series collaborative robots will also be equipped with various types of end-effectors, image sensors, force control sensors and can also work with AGVs to create composite robots. Together with all these studies, they will take place in more applications.

How does collaborative robotics boost manufacturing?

In general, collaborative robots have four main features, including safety, ease of use, flexibility and efficiency.

In terms of safety, the collaborative robot has a lightweight joint design, and the collaborative robot weighs 17.5 kg, with a payload of 6 kg, so the robot can work without damaging people or objects. In addition, the collision level can be adjusted according to the risk assessment results.

In terms of ease of use, the robot is easy to transport, assemble and disassemble; the robot’s work waypoints can be easily edited with simple drag and drop; interfaces are open; hardware and software are highly integrated.

Collaborative robots, 360° installation, ±360° single joint spherical workspace, light and low-power design, compact and modular design, etc. It is very flexible in many ways.

Let’s take the example of a collaborative robot integrated into the production line of the car seat bracket. For screw tightening, we can see that there is an operator in charge of the process on one side and a collaborative robot tightening the screws on the other. There is a big difference in the efficiency ratio between these two stations. In the station where the collaborative robot is integrated, the process is completed more quickly. In addition, holding the squeezing gun for a long time in such a station creates too much pressure on the hands. However, thanks to the use of collaborative robots, the damages that may occur in such stations are also minimized.

As can be seen from the above, to reap the benefits of collaborative robots, we must match them with the right application scenarios and identify appropriate automation tasks and objectives.

How will the new scenarios brought by 5G be implemented?

The 5G era, which stands out with high speed, IoT, secure reconfiguration and other features, will create more flexible application scenarios. For the development of 5G, collaborative robots are expected to be an important part of offline application.

In the 5G era, the iteration of end-product processes will accelerate and collaborative robots will gain more importance as a flexible automation tool. Collaborative robots will take place more in scenarios such as assembly and inspection in the automotive industry, load shifting, testing and assembly in the electronics industry, machine feeding in the machining industry, treatment in the medical industry, assisted navigation and positioning, and medical device manufacturing. In addition, the implementation of autonomous and teleoperation platforms based on collaborative robots will be developed.