Tony Thompson, managing director of Aycliffe-based Cobots Online, talks about the emergency of collaborative robots…
UK SMEs continue to view automation as a “nice to have” but not a necessity.
Many perceive the technology as too complex or requiring specialist expertise and that it is only there for the largest and most advanced players.
The truth is that collaborative robots – smaller, cheaper, and easier to install – are a world away from their industrial robot counterparts and well suited to SMEs.
Typically, cobots are assigned routine, repetitive tasks such as screwdriving, sanding, machine tending, welding, or palletising, freeing up humans to add value elsewhere.
A key concern for many in the manufacturing sector is that automation will steal jobs, but this is largely unfounded and much hyped by the media.
The idea of a fully automated “lights out” factory for most manufacturers is pure fiction; the reality is far simpler, as the first steps toward automation start with identifying the parts of a production process which are most suitable to be automated – more simply put, the tasks that are the most dull, dirty, or dangerous.
While robots now take on many human tasks, they cannot replace them – in practice, automating processes across production frees up staff to take on more rewarding work.
Rather than replacing humans, automation will only steal the most strenuous, monotonous tasks and will likely bring about an evolution of roles.
At Cobots Online, we provide workable solutions to automate your production processes.
The return on investment is surprisingly short and with interest rates still at record lows, there has never been a better time to invest in your future.
Managing director, Cobots Online