The Options of Automation and Industrial Robots

The importance of automation and robots in most manufacturing industries is increasing. Industrial robots have replaced humans in a wide variety of industries. Robots beat humans in jobs that need precision, speed, endurance and reliability. Robots safely perform dirty and dangerous jobs. Traditional manufacturing robotic applications include material handling (pick and put), assembling, painting, welding, packaging, palletizing, product inspection and testing. Industrial robots are employed within a diverse array of industries including automotive, electronics, medical, food production, biotech, pharmaceutical and machinery.

The ISO concept of a manipulating industrial robot is "an automatically controlled, reprogrammable, multipurpose manipulator". According to the definition it can be fixed set up or mobile for usage in industrial automation applications. These industrial robots are programmable in 3 or more axes. They are multi-functional tools which can be custom-built and developed to perform number of operations.



The main benefits associated with industrial robots is because they may be developed to suit industry specific requirements and will work continuously for many years, consistently meeting high manufacturing quality standards. The economic lifespan of the industrial robot is roughly 12-16 years. Due to their persistent accuracy industrial robots are becoming an essential a part of manufacturing.

Industrial robots are categorized into different categories depending on their mechanical structure. The main groups of industrial robots are:

Gantry (Cartesian) Robot: These are stationary robots having three aspects of motion. They work from an overhead grid which has a rectangular work envelope. They're mainly employed to perform 'pick and place' actions. Gantry robots have got all their axes above the work driving them to also well suited for dispensing applications.
SCARA Robots: (Selectively Compliant Articulated Robot Arm) These robots have 4 axes of movement. They move within an x-y-z coordinated circular work envelope. They are utilized for factory automation requiring pick and put work, application and assembly operations and handling machine tools.
Articulated robots: An articulated robot has rotary joints. It may have from two to ten or maybe more interactive joints. Articulated robots are worthy of welding, painting and assembly.

Basic industrial robot designs may be customized with the help of different peripherals. End effectors, optical systems, and motion controllers are essential add-ons. End effectors will be the end-of-arm-tooling (EOAT) attached to robotic arms. Grippers or wrenches which are accustomed to move or assemble parts are samples of end effectors. End effectors are made and utilized to sense and interact with the external environment. The end effectors' design is determined by the application requirements from the specific industry. Machine Vision systems are robotic optical systems. They may be built-on digital input/output devices and computer networks used to control other manufacturing equipment including robotic arms. Machine vision is employed to the inspection of manufactured goods for example semiconductor chips. Motion controllers are utilized to move robots and position stages smoothly and accurately with sub-micron repeatability.

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