Manufacturing industries are increasingly taking the route of robotics for making their activities automatic and more efficient. Human intervention is rapidly being replaced by robots to ensure precision, reliability, endurance, and speed of operations. Industrial Automation and robotics has been found convenient to handle jobs that are often dangerous or dirty and could cause human workers problems to handle.
In traditional manufacturing, there are jobs like testing, inspection, palletizing, packaging, material handling that requires picking and placing, other jobs like welding, painting and even assembling, that lend themselves easily to automation through the use of robots.
A number of industries from machinery manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, biotech, food production, electronics and above all the automobile industry have found it very convenient to use PLC programming and robotics to assist the process of automation of operations.
Industrial robots are defined as multipurpose manipulators that are automatically controlled and can be reprogrammed for various operations.
These robots can be fixed in place or made mobile depending on their applications for industrial and manufacturing automation. The robots can be designed and programmed to function in three dimensions and are generally custom built to perform a number of operations.
It is possible to program robots to suit the particular application that any industry has, and they can work for years, without tiring, while consistently maintaining high-quality standards. Robots can easily have life spans of over 12 to 15 years, and it likely they will be overtaken by technological advances in manufacturing processes before they become obsolete or useless in any way.
They are able to give accuracy with a persistence that makes them indispensable to any manufacturing operations.
Robotics is revolutionizing manufacturing and constant development is leading to robots becoming cheaper, faster and smarter. They are increasingly taking on human capabilities like memory, dexterity, sensing and trainability.
This has enabled robots to take over the assembling of miniature electronics, the inspection of products, while they have always been around to perform repetitive tasks like packing and packaging. Robotics has developed to such an extent that robots can now imitate and learn from demonstrations given to them by humans.
Robotics requires developing the three aspects that most robots have. The first of these are the brawn that relates to the strength and physical capability of the robot to handle jobs it has to undertake.
Robots require to have a framework or bone structure that allows the robot to carry out its work, and this framework will have to deal with the physical load and its own weight and size. Finally, robots need to have intelligence that allows them to think and work independently without the need for manual intervention.
Robots do not need to have the appearance of humans, whom they are trying to replace. Developments in hydraulics and electronics have led to the rapid increase in the use of robots in manufacturing and automation of processes.
Microprocessors and the development of artificial intelligence have given a further boost to robotics and led to robots being flexible and adaptable. Machine vision and speech recognition have added immense increased possibilities for automation.