How Industrial Robots are Used in the Automotive Industry

Auto Tech Outlook | Friday, August 06, 2021

There are countless opportunities and applications for robot in the automotive manufacturing industry as they increase quality, lower production times, and reduce injuries.

FREMONT, CA: For more than half a century, the automotive sector has relied on industrial robots. The number of robots utilized in the automation industry has increased dramatically in the meantime. In addition, increasingly low-cost, flexible, collaborative technologies have replaced bulky and inflexible conventional robots.

Car and automotive component manufacturers can use robots to increase productivity, lower costs, enhance quality, and protect their people. Collaborative robotics (also known as "cobots") has opened new options for automakers, such as the capability to deploy robots in close contact to human employees without requiring barriers. Manufacturers can use cobots to relieve workers from tedious, dirty, and risky duties.

WHERE ARE INDUSTRIAL ROBOTS USED?

There are relatively few industries that do not profit from automated processes. Numerous other factories and warehouses have implemented robot technologies since the first car robot joined the assembly line at GM. The pharmaceutical industry, general manufacturing, medical, and agriculture are the industries that utilize robots.

WHAT DO INDUSTRIAL ROBOTS DO?

Industrial robots in manufacturing can carry out various tasks, including material handling, pick-and-place, inspection, and even assembly, packaging, and palletizing. Robots are programmed to carry out monotonous activities and free humans of physically demanding labor. Machine vision and artificial intelligence systems can be added to robots, allowing them to adapt to various scenarios and offer real-time feedback on system performance.

WHAT ARE THE PRIMARY APPLICATIONS FOR COBOTS IN THE AUTOMOTIVE MANUFACTURING SECTOR?

Assembly

In many cars manufacturing, including assembly, cobots play a vital role. It can perform monotonous jobs on the assembly line, like connecting door handles and windshield wipers, allowing humans to concentrate on higher-value duties. Larger, bulkier objects, like wheels, hatches, and engine hoods, can be handled by cobots with higher weights, such as the UR16e (payload 16kg/35.3lb).

Painting

Painting robots have become a common feature of robot-assisted car manufacturing. No human worker can match the consistency and availability of robots when it comes to painting. Additionally, vehicle paint is poisonous, posing a significant risk to human employees. Robots are better at tasks like putting a precisely even coat of paint on a vast surface. Due to reduced wasted paint and the removal of human mistakes, robots' precision and performance in painting activities decreases manufacturing costs over time.

Machine tending

One of the activities that is well-suited to collaborative robot-powered automation is machine tending. It's dull, often dirty, and an occasionally risky task. It's no wonder that machine tending has become one of the most widespread applications for cobots in recent years.

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