Reorganizing Your Shop To Accommodate A Collaborative Robot

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If you are thinking about introducing collaborative robots to your manufacturing plant, it is important to take a few factors into consideration. One of the most important factors to consider is how you need to alter your workflow arrangement to suit the needs if a collaborative robot. You need to find ways to make your workplace ideal for the cobot and also for other employees.

Image: Pixabay

Collaborative robots are created to be able to execute different tending applications. For this to be possible, it takes more than simply placing the collaborative robot in front of a machine and having processes completed. You need to think a bit further to ensure stability.

Here are a few tips on how to effectively integrate a collaborative robot into your manufacturing company.

Collaborative robot fixture

There are numerous types of collaborative robots in the market. There are also different ways of attaching them. Some cobots can be mounted on wheels while others can be fixed on tables or stands. The bottom line is that your cobot needs to be fixed at the same spot for it to run effectively.

You can make use of mechanical devices to make sure that the cobot is fixed in position accurately each time. For instance, if you use a Baxter, it has the ability to roll in different directions. Therefore, you will need to have a few anchors on the ground to ensure it is securely fixed. This ensures that your collaborative robots run the same programs accurately all the time. This ensures you spend the least amount of time reprogramming the robot.

Input of parts

Part of the task a collaborative robot is supposed to do may include picking and fixing parts. There are different ways of locating a part. They include:

Array allocations

Collaborative robots made to tend machines do it with array allocation of parts. This is the simplest and easiest way to use for parts allocations. Most collaborative robots are programmed to perform routines in this motion. It is possible to integrate arrays into platters with the ability to either be switched or used directly on tables. If you decide to use platters, ensure you produce batches in double so that the platters are able to be filled by another robot as the other robot feeds the machine.


These are effective ways of bringing parts to cobots. Drawers are also very space efficient as they do not take up too much space in the plant. Different parts can be piled in different drawers. The collaborative robots can be programmed to open the drawers and pick the parts, or the drawers can be automatic.

Single allocation

Industrial shakers or inclined planes can be made use of to make sure that parts are fixed at the same position for each grasp. This way, the collaborative robot does not have to know where the parts are picked from or the part’s orientation. It simply grabs the parts from the same place each time. While this is a simple technique, it applies to some parts only.

Force sensing

This is a mix of vision and arrays allocation. You can fit your cobots with force torque sensors which give the robots a sense of touch. This makes the robot sensitive to different parts. This means that you can put the parts in an array and program the robot to go through the array and pick the right part to fix.

Vision allocation

This is ideal for moving processes like conveyors. You can pair the vision system with the conveyor’s encoders to remember the exact position of the part as it moves towards the robot. Vision allocation systems are also ideal for use where parts are positioned randomly. The camera helps the robot to identify the part. The robot can then change its approach to suit the part orientation.

With these factors addressed, you will have an easy time using the cobots alongside other employees in your manufacturing plant.

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