Robots & Automation
Machine-tending robots are often key components used to enable unattended or lights-out machining operations, adding capacity by taking advantage of time that’s currently unused, like nights and weekends. In many cases, robot integration enables shopfloor employees that were previously loading and unloading parts from machines to perform duties of greater value. Plus, today’s robots are faster and more intelligent than in years past and are also becoming increasingly viable for small-batch/high-mix production. In addition, collaborative robots, or “cobots,” use sensor technology that enables them function safely alongside humans in a shared work environment. That means no more isolating fencing is needed to separate worker and robot.
One of the most significant developments in machining right now is easy to miss because it is the union of two different advances coming together.