Car manufacturing robots are nothing new to the automotive industry. In fact, they were first deployed in 1961 by General Motors but are slowly taking over the factory floor. At present, these machines are driving the rethinking as well as optimization of production and processes in innovative new ways. Below is a quick guide to some of the top ways robots are shaking up the automotive sector.
These are automotive robots used for painting applications. Already, automated painting is a standard practice in the car manufacturing industry. Since robotic arms are the ones responsible for spraying the bodywork, they eliminate the need for skilled human labor thus offer a faster, more smooth and even finish. Since advanced arm painting robots are not only articulated but connected to the cloud, they are speedier, lighter and equipped with plenty of activators and sensors.
These machines are also easier to install as well as operate and integrate. Painting robots are changing the automotive sector by making more customization possible, continuing to improve the quality of final finish and reducing the need for human programming.
Known as collaborative robots, these machines are designed to help humans in strenuous and mundane jobs. Therefore, they tend to have smaller footprints when compared to existing production machinery. In addition to this, they have the ability to learn through simulation instead of needing programming. Collaborative robots are equipped with sensors which react to human contact, this allows them to operate safely when in the same work space as humans on an assembly line.
The speed, force and strength attributed to these robotic machines are also limited to avoid accidents or injuries. Cobots are changing the automotive industry by allowing robots and humans to work alongside each other on an assembly line. They also allow flexible, efficient and safer production lines as well as enabling the automation of increasingly complex tasks.
Traditionally used in car manufacturing since 1980s for arc and spot welding, present day welding robots are becoming increasingly precise and flexible. Modern welding robots can perform a wide range of welding techniques ranging from friction to laser. Additionally, welding automation is going one step ahead by transforming into complete bodywork solutions.
Automated welding is changing the car manufacturing sector by improving the quality of welding as well as enabling lighter cars due to material efficiencies. They also improve the safety of production facilities thus allowing them to be more streamlined and flexible. Lastly, they help in increasing the production speed of multi-material automobiles.
Automated guided machines
These are transport systems which are not only operator free but designed to repetitively move parts and raw materials over short or medium distances. These machines use magnet, lines or tape infrastructure to travel from one point of a production line to the other. Currently, they are adding sensor cameras to automated guided machines to help them navigate even better. This advancement uses 3D map technology to autonomously navigate through manufacturing plants that are crowded.
Automated guided machines are changing the car industry through replacing forklifts as well as other manual vehicles and improving workplace safety. They also help with increasing productivity, optimizing workflow processes and reducing costs. Lastly, they facilitate flexible production layouts and logistics.
Both 2D and 3D robotic vision features the use of a combination of computer algorithms and camera hardware which help enable the machines to process visual data from its environment. This technology is used throughout the automotive supply chain in a number of ways. The main application for 2D and 3D vision is to ensures that the quality of the end product enables automotive robots to be adaptive and flexible in logistics and part-packing.
Robotic vision is changing the car manufacturing industry by ensuring the safety of human and robot interaction in production and boosting productivity through complex and flexible process automation.