With the growing need for manufacturing jobs to be filled, the cobotic industry is growing exponentially to fill the gap, as well as empowering employees to do more cerebral vs. monotonous tasks. The goal is to replace the least desirable and most time-consuming parts of the job with a solution that streamlines processes.
Cobots take care of dull monotonous tasks while humans offer thoughts and skill sets. Cobots handle the soul stealing tasks of the repetitive, dangerous, and error-prone allowing humans to use their skills in reasoning, critical thinking, dexterity, and creativity. Humans also can check the cobot condition, ensure worker safety, train, make decisions, and reprogram.
Despite some existing arguments on cobots replacing humans, it is the exact opposite. Instead they are providing a multiplier for production. Think about it as the cobots being the employee’s third arm or a tool. When partnered, cobots and humans increase accuracy, flexibility, speed and strength.
According to the Robotic Industries Association, cobots, which accounted for an estimated 3% of all robot sales—or 11,416 in 2017—are expected to capture 34% of that market in the next seven years.
Cobots are used in manufacturing facilities in the following areas: assembly, loading and unloading machines, packaging finished goods, palletizing, picking and placing and tool application (screwing, bolting, drilling, gluing, welding).
The leading industries currently using robots now are automotive and electrical. Next is metal followed by plastic and chemical products along with food and beverage, although the possibilities are endless.