Industrial Robotics: The Future of Industrial Automation

Sep 11,2019

An industrial robot can be defined as an automated programmable robot system used in manufacturing, typically used in welding, painting, ironing and other tasks that require high speed and efficiency. Industrial robots can be programmed for varying degrees of autonomy, specifically to carry out a single task with preprogrammed routines or the more autonomous robots to perform tasks without a set guideline.

Industrial Robots have slowly become an indispensable part of manufacturing as machines are taking over for tasks requiring endurance and speed, empowering process improvement. The history of robotics, however starts in mid-20th century with a “Programmed Article Transfer” to make a repeated set of motions in a tightly controlled environment. With the advent of modern robotics in the 1980s, industrial robots began to be introduced at a faster rate in manufacturing that were smarter offering a higher degree of operational freedom.

Industrial robots are beginning to be considered game changers in modern manufacturing even as dependence on them continues to grow. And as machines get intelligent, and continue to proliferate across industries, they are being regarded as reasonable choices in many contexts for automation.

Robots in Logistics

The industrial robotics landscape is still expanding and it is expected to continue to grow rapidly, influenced by advances in technology. The use of robotics in logistics management is a tendency that is expected to grow rapidly, with manufacturers in the robotics field looking to incorporate robotics into every aspect of logistics management. Driving this is the need to improve the efficiency and quality of work as the monotonous and repetitive tasks are automated or done by machines.

The current scenario stands at robots being used for packaging, retrieving objects, as pick and place objects are pushing innovation in automation further. They are being used to make the logistics value chain across industries more cost efficient as well.

An example of innovation in logistics is the launch of the “Strobe” range of robots by Singapore Technologies in 2018, for operation in in factories, warehouses and other spaces in the logistics sector. 

AI in Factories for Improved Efficiency

The influence of advances in technology and its incorporation in robotics is also a trend that is expected to have an impact on manufacturing around the world. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being increasingly used in industrial robotics today, for automating tasks inside the factory setting. This is introducing flexibility and learning capabilities to rigid applications such as packaging and assembly.

In the case of packaging, AI has been employed to for quicker and lower cost packaging processes that are more efficient and accurate. In assembly, AI is being used to in complex manufacturing sectors for real time correction of errors to save time and become efficient.

Cloud Robotics

Another aspect of technology that is being assimilated into industrial robotics is cloud computing technologies. With the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) becoming big, solutions for end-use industries are quickly emerging from cloud computing. Robots are being connected through cloud technology where they can access data saved on the cloud. With shared resources in a converged infrastructure and environment robots are set to benefit greatly to perform complex tasks faster. This will allow for consumers to connect various machines and robots together to achieve tasks faster, for better overall cohesiveness in the factory. It is also being considered as a way of improving efficiency as well.

Customized Robots

While robotics have always been at the center of effective and efficient manufacturing processes, there has been a sudden spurt of interest in bringing them to the factory floor due to customizable robots making their way into the forefront. The progression towards automated and tailor-made robots being integrated into existing workflows, consumers are beginning to focus on controlling costs by using modular robots. And while the initial expensiveness of a customized robot system could be a hindrance to the growth of customized robots, their efficiency is expected to outweigh the cons in this case.

Cobots are the Future

Intelligent industrial robots were a thing of imagination, expected to become reality at a much later date. But the future is now here, with companies increasingly embracing robotics in manufacturing across industries. The current focus of industrial robotics is inclination for robots to work together with humans to carry out dangerous tasks on the factory floor. This has led to collaborative robots, also called cobots becoming a reality in the industry. These machines are set to work alongside humans to increase efficiency and overall productivity. This is particularly relevant in developing countries and markets that are usually reliant on humans for every little task.

Industrial robots are only set to grow, as they are now a part of everything, from manufacturing parts to stacking and packing boxes. All designed to enhance efficiency, industrial robots are changing the future of industrial automation, becoming a standard for better performance. 

The authors of the report on Industrial Robotics Market are available to discuss the future of this landscape. Get in touch.