Robotics has been an integral part of manufacturing for a long time now. Such robots’ robotic arms and manipulators come with different degrees of flexibility depending on the end user’s requirement.
There are various types of robots used in manufacturing industries across the globe. Each type comes with its own set of specifications suited to meet the requirements of a particular machine or assembly line.
Manufacturing Robots Overview
When we talk about industrial robotics, the first thing that comes to mind is a robotic arm.
However, the most common industrial robots are broadly classified into two major segments, namely Articulated Robots and Cartesian Robots. Articulated robots are generally used in tasks that require a great deal of flexibility, such as gripping, tool change, and handling.
They also come with an end effector that can form either a three-axis jointed arm or an end effector, which can be used for gripping. The other segment where articulated robots are extensively used is in the medical industry.
The other significant type of industrial robot is Cartesian robots, also commonly referred to as linear robots. Such robots come with moveable axes fitted on a rotating frame.
The rotating frame allows the axes to move in all directions along set planes. Cartesian robots are generally used for ongoing projects that require high speed or high accuracy, such as machining & injection molding.
Different Types of Robots in Manufacturing
Single Arm Robots:
Such robots are used when a machine requires control over a single axis or a group of axes or a palletizing or unique order picking project.
They are a variant of Articulated Robots where the end effector can only take a single action, for example, gripping or welding. They come with a set of motors fitted on either side of the rotating axis. These motors are used for moving the robot along only one plane.
Double Arm Robots
The Double Arm Robots are a variant of Articulated Robots where the arms have an equal number of motors fitted on either side of the rotating axis. This enables them to move along two different planes, from left to right and from back to front.
These robots are commonly used as palletizing robots when a machine requires control over two axes or more at the same time, such as sorting & packing activities.
These robots come with multiple robotic arms capable of performing multiple tasks simultaneously or sequentially.
Such robots carry out a set task before passing on the completed component onto another group of robots that can serve their required duty before passing it further down the production line. One such example includes the assembly of a car door at one corner and an engine cover at the other.
These robots come with more than three axes allowing them to perform various tasks such as deburring, polishing, and machining. These robots complete multiple tasks before discharging their load or passing it onto another set of machines or work cells.
Such robots are used in cases where production requirements require several different operations within a single device, for example, in automatic welding cells & spot welding applications.
Mobile Robots are versatile machines that can be programmed to move around randomly within an allotted area until they complete their predefined task before moving on to another location on the production floor. They commonly used such robots in order picking applications.
They can be programmed to move around randomly at a sorting facility or warehouse and pick up products for delivery using their built-in sensors and grippers.
Systems Integration Robots
The Systems Integration Robots are flexible machines that can carry out multiple manufacturing functions while being attached to an external device, for example, CNC machine tools, Material Handling Equipment, or even other robots.
Such robots are commonly used in cases where production requirements require a lot of customizations or changes, for example, in the case of automobile manufacturing plants where the robot has to be integrated with an assembly line sequencer.
These robots come with two arms fitted on either side of a box-shaped torso which carries out different tasks simultaneously while being synchronized at all times with speed & accuracy.
These robots can perform several operations within a single cell and then be easily moved from one location to another without requiring constant reprogramming by engineers.
They are mainly used in material handling applications such as FMS, palletizing cells, and working alongside humans efficiently due to their humanoid appearance and high safety standards built into them.
Industrial Maintenance Robots
These robots can be used to perform different types of tasks such as weld inspection, spray-painting & testing, and circuit board inspection. They come with movable cameras & sensors that allow them to access difficult-to-reach areas within the production plant without disrupting the normal processes.
Such robotic systems help manufacturers ensure high-quality standards across all their products manufactured, while also reducing costs.
The Paradrop Robots are special robotic machines that allow manufacturers to work on the pre-assembly of finished products at any location before they are moved onto another area where final assembly is carried out.
While these robots don’t perform any major tasks within the last assembly line, their main advantage is that they can load various sub-products or components without requiring constant reprogramming by engineers. Thus, allowing for high levels of customization before parts are stored in bulk.
Cylindrical / Spherical Coordinate Robots
These robots come with capabilities that allow them to perform tasks in all three dimensions, hence Cylindrical / Spherical Coordinate.
They can be programmed to operate at any location along this axis, thereby allowing them to work on machines where space is limited or perform complex high-speed operations without compromising their ability. Such robotic arms are commonly used for welding & spot welding applications.
Robotics is a growing technology that helps reduce costs & bring more excellent safety & productivity benefits across various markets globally, which explains why it’s become an integral part of manufacturing production worldwide. As you can see, many different varieties of robotics are being employed across multiple industries worldwide.
Each industry has its own specific needs and uses one or more automation equipment depending on their production requirements.