Collaborative robots are changing the automotive manufacturing industry by improving quality, productivity, and efficiency. How will these robots influence employees in the automotive sector? Collaborative robots are different from robotic process automation.
They are not structured to replace unique human employee skills and talents entirely. Still, the collaborative robot is disrupting automotive manufacturing, providing businesses many benefits. Read on to understand why companies in various sectors adopt collaborative robots and their lifelong impact.
Automotive Collaborative Applications
The collaborative robot or cobot is among the dominant and rising trends in the robotics sector due to its benefits and unique value. Collaborative robotics plays a core role in manufacturing applications by merging the strength of skilled workers and that of automation.
Automation is essential but not as intelligent, even though users can independently use it with the whole automotive production process. Human assistance and oversight will continue playing a critical role in the automation process for years.
Collaborative robots automate the manufacturing process’s dangerous, repetitive, and simple aspects. This allows humans to focus on creative and complex tasks besides operating and maintaining the robots. Today, cobots in the automotive industry are used in various functions, which include:
Welding collaborative robots can execute arc and spot welding autonomously. They offer value in automotive manufacturing since they can perform a virtually flaw-free weld numerous times with minimal errors. This provides various benefits for human welders. The cobot can function rapidly with enhanced safety because there is no danger of suffering burns. The computer consistency and accuracy of robot-produced welds can boost quality control.
Robot vision is a critical innovation in automotive robotics. This application leverages sensors and cameras to enable robots to view the world around them. Robots can execute aspects of the manufacturing process with enhanced accuracy and scan parts for flaws through robotic vision.
Checking for defects and quality assurance requires an artificial intelligence system to facilitate image analysis. However, due to advanced technology, manufacturers can integrate artificial intelligence with robotic systems.
Collaborative robots in automotive manufacturing facilitate the automation stage of the assembly procedure. They can place and screw bolts or lift and place a heavy vehicle roof. These characteristics make robots more suitable than humans for dangerous tasks. Robotic arms with the functional end of arm tooling are used in the assembly application.
Coating and Painting
Robots accelerate the coating and painting processes in large objects such as vehicles. Using robots ensures cars have consistent and even coats of paints, primers, and polishes. Using a robot for coating and painting tasks accelerates the process while maintaining high quality.
What is the Impact of Collaborative Robots in Automotive Manufacturing?
What has triggered the popularity of cobots in automotive manufacturing? Are these machines superior to human workers? The answer to these questions is yes, to some extent. The automotive sector is experiencing various challenges that amplify the advantages of collaborative robots.
Robots are usually more efficient than human workers. They can execute the same task repeatedly without compromising quality over time. A robot remains stationary and is restricted to programmed movements, reducing the chances of getting damaged. Repairing is always possible if the robot develops faults or gets damaged.
One of the core factors people must know before adopting robots is that they are not as capable as human workers. Besides productivity and safety, using robotics in automotive manufacturing has other benefits.
Still, there are numerous things that humans can execute better than robots. For instance, humans can think intuitively, creatively, and more flexibly than robots. Collaborative robots combine human workers’ natural strengths with the benefits of robotics.
One of the core benefits of collaborative robots is the advanced efficiency and interaction between robots and humans. Cobots adapt robotics to make it human-friendly and facilitate efficient human collaboration and interaction.
The judgment and creativity of human employees at automotive manufacturing facilities can be applied to robots’ practical and safe actions. Cobots are designed to operate more safely beside humans than conventional robots. For instance, employees can be managing a finishing sander to improve a vehicle’s quality as the cobot completes a rough sanding task on the opposite side of the car.
What’s the Impact of Collaborative Robots on Employment
Over the years, human employees have raised concerns that robots will eliminate numerous jobs. However, such a scenario is less likely to occur any time soon. Automobile manufacturing workers are less likely to lose their jobs to the robotic arm. Here are the reasons why.
At its peak in 2020, Covid-19 left a significant impact on the automotive sector, the effects of which have been long-lasting. While automotive manufacturers had to slacken production in 2020 significantly, the demand for new vehicles didn’t decline. As a result, the industry has struggled to meet demand from 2021 through 2022 to compensate for the lost productivity in 2020.
The cropping up of Covid-19 variants has been a significant obstacle to the process, with many automotive manufacturers struggling to get enough employees, fearing contracting Covis-19, and losing their employees to other industries.
Players in the automotive industry are experiencing a massive shortage of workers. To compensate for the unfilled jobs, employers are implementing collaborative robots. Due to these advancements, automotive manufacturing workers’ job environment is highly likely to improve. This is because they will be under minimal strain with collaborative robots available to offer assistance. Cobots will not take up people’s jobs. Instead, they will be filling the gaps resulting from industry-based labor shortages.
While cobots have numerous benefits, there are multiple things they can’t do, explaining why humans continue to play a massive role in the process. Cobots supplement the abilities of human workers, making the workplace more efficient and safer. While robots may render some jobs obsolete, new jobs like maintenance experts for the robots will replace them.
Collaborative robots are influencing the automotive manufacturing industry by assisting employees in helping them counter pressure from increased demand. Instead of replacing human workers, cobots are designed to counter labor shortages and promote productivity in the workplace. Automotive manufacturers can now leverage cobots to produce new cars in a work setting optimized for their strengths and expertise or humans.