Computers and Technology

Industrial Robot Trends

This article is about the industrial robots applications. The use of robots in industry began not so long ago, just a little more than half a century ago. But now there are so less production that can be imagined without automatic lines, without steel manipulators and vigilant glass pupils of robots. These iron guys have firmly entered the majority production processes and are not going to leave it.

Despite such an extensive, only specialists fully understand the full range of their capabilities. In this article, we will open the door to the world of industrial robotics for a wide range of readers: we will describe some types of production robots and their areas of application.

So what are they, robots?

There are several classifications of industrial robots: by the type of control, by the degree of mobility, by the field of application and the specifics of the operations performed.

By type of control:

Guided robots: Requires an operator to control them every movement. They are not very common. And not exactly robots.

Automatic and semi-autonomous robots: they act strictly according to a given program. They often do not have sensors and are not able to correct their actions. Also, they cannot do without the participation of a worker.

Autonomous: they can perform a programmed cycle of actions without human help, according to predetermined algorithms. Such robots are able to cover the field of activity on their section of the line, without the involvement of a human force.

By function and scope:

Robots are divided according to purpose and functions performed. Here are just a few of them: industrial robots are universal, machine-building, cutting, picking, assembly, packaging, painting.

This is not a complete list. The number of all possible options is constantly growing and it is impossible to list everything. We can only say with confidence that there is hardly a field of human activity where robots could not make human work more creative, taking all the dangerous part of the work on themselves.

Other classification methods

Each manufacturer has its own classification and typology of robots. Which is not surprising – it is often determined by purely specific needs and the particular approach of the person who composes it. Will this prevent us from examining some of the samples and understanding what they can do? Of course not!

Consider samples

Among industrial robots, the products of such companies as Kuka, Fanuc, Universal Robots stand out, some of which we will consider below.


The KUKA KR QUANTEC PA is one of the best robots on the market. KUKA KR QUANTEC PA Arctic -is its modification, the robot operates at extremely low temperatures. It can work in freezers at temperatures down to -30 ° C. Electronic and mechanical parts of the device do not need protection from frost, snow and also do not emit excessive heat. The operating range of the manipulator of the Arctic modification, like that of the standard KUKA KR QUANTEC PA, is 3195 mm, and the payload is up to 240 kg. The device is ideal for use in the food industry and in the Far North. In addition to stacking pallets, the robot can perform other manipulations, because the accuracy of its movements, or rather, the stability of positioning repeatability is 0.06 mm.

FANUC M-2000iA / 1200

FANUC M-2000iA / 1200 is a lifting robot that lifts up to 1200 kg and moves this load at a distance of up to 3.7 m. Ideal as a loader, as it works without human. Works at temperatures from 0 ° C – +45 ° C.

Universal Robots – UR10

The UR10 is the largest of Universal Robots’ manipulators and it is a robot. In other words, it can work with other equipment and help humans work.

The manipulator model UR10 has a reach of 1.3 m and can lift loads up to 10 kg. It can be used  many other equipment. Robots can be placed on the workplace of a person to become his “third hand”. They are easily programmed and quickly configured.

The main driver force for developed countries to increasingly engage in the introduction of industrial robots is the aging of the population. In China the working-age population was 1 billion in 2015. It is expected to be 960 million in 2030 and 800 million in 2050. In Japan, the figures are even worse. Robotization makes it possible to replace workers. In addition, the productivity of robotics is growing more than twice as fast as that of humans.
Other market drivers include:
– the growing value of the average wages in the industry
– investments in R&D

Robotization as a means of increasing the country’s competitiveness in the world market.

It is easy to see the dependence of two factors – the welfare of the country and the level of its robotization. In 2016, the highest levels of usage of industrial robots are demonstrated by South Korea, the USA, Japan, Germany, and China. This forces China not only to develop and manufacture its own industrial robots, but also to be the world’s largest importer of industrial robots. They are purchased from almost all major manufacturers.

2016.06.08 China lacks robots: China is interested in the German Kuka. They want to acquire a manufacturer of industrial robots, one of the Top 4 in the world, for $ 5 billion.

Reduced payback time for industrial robots.

The cost of some industrial robots has dropped to $ 25,000. So, if you can replace a person with a machine who earns $ 12.5 per hour, the robot will pay off in a year! At a salary of $ 15 an hour, your investment in automation will return even faster. Even by Chinese standards (the average salary is $ 4.2 per hour, the investment will pay off within 3 years. And this is not taking into account the ability of machines to work at night).

Expansion of the list of “professions” of industrial robots.

Until 2016, 3/4 of industrial robots were employed in four sectors: computer and electronics manufacturing; production of household appliances and components; production of transport equipment; mechanical engineering. This is partly due to economic reasons in the respective industries and partly to limited technological capabilities. Gradually, the list of “professions” of industrial manipulators is growing, for example, in Germany in Ansbach a large factory for the production of Adidas sneakers will open, with the massive use of robots. Nike is also using robots.

Also see the section “atypical professions of industrial robots”

Reduce downtime by predicting and monitoring industrial robots.

2016.03.17 Experts in the field of Big Data, machine learning and robotics conduct research aimed at identifying potential problems in the operation of industrial robots on assembly lines even before these problems cause forced production downtime. Sample project – Zero Downtime, customer – General Motors, executors: Cisco, Fanuc and Rockwell Automation.

The shift to more active use of collaborative industrial robots.

  • 2017.08.05 At the Audi factories there was a place for robots. Universal robots
  • 2016.06.08 Carmen cooperative robots work at SEW-Eurodrive in Baden-Württemberg, helping to collect cars. Thanks to cobots, work has become more interesting for people. The average price of a cooperative robot is about $ 24,000.
  • 2016.03.08 The introduction of collaborative robots into production practice should facilitate the release of the ISO / TS 15066: 2016 guideline. It aims to provide developers, manufacturers and integrators with recommendations for the safe use of collaborative robotic systems.They are only suitable for those tasks where slow movement is acceptable. For tasks where a high speed of movement of a robot is important, collaborative robots are not yet very suitable.

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