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Afbeelding: 1-RiseofCobot-Hero

Meet the cobots, our colleagues in the factory of the future

4 November 2019

At Rompa, we love to be inspired by the latest technological innovations. In the factory of the future, there will no longer be a distinction between automated and manned workstations. Humans and cobots work together with optimal efficiency. What is a cobot and what advantages does it offer?

Cobots as excellent colleagues

A cobot is a collaborative robot, i.e. a robot that works together with people. In this partnership between man and robot, the cobot assists employees with their activities. Instead of replacing humans outright, this machine augments an employee's abilities and takes over tasks that are too taxing, time consuming or dull for humans. Think of e.g. heavy lifting or restocking workstations.

Working safely with cobots

Working with a cobot means interacting with it frequently. Fortunately, having a cobot on the work floor is usually perfectly safe. Contrary to traditional robots, cobots respond to touch. If an employee were to accidentally bump into a cobot, it would automatically stop what it was doing. Of course, a risk assessment should be conducted for each individual application, but there is usually no need to position cobots behind a tall fence or screen for safety reasons.

An overview of the benefits

1.    High productivity. A well-programmed cobot knows exactly what to do and then does just that. Contrary to human employees, it does not get distracted or tired. The result is an increase in productivity.

2.    Ready for use quickly. As we mentioned, a cobot has to be programmed properly to be truly effective. The latest cobots are a lot easier to program than traditional robots. With the help of user-friendly software and mobile apps, cobots can easily be given new instructions. The installation is a piece of cake as well. Cobots can be up and running in just thirty minutes.

3.    Flexible. Since they are so easy to program, cobots are highly versatile. They can provide assistance where needed: in the assembly department today, conducting inspections tomorrow and helping out with logistics the day after that. Everyone benefits from having a cobot around!

4.    Accurate. Above all, what cobots excel at is their accuracy. A cobot does exactly what it has been programmed to do and it will do so with the same degree of power and energy every single time. Using a cobot, therefore, minimises the risk of errors.

5.    Employees enjoy their job more. Last, but certainly not least: cobots have a positive impact on their human colleagues. For example, they limit the occurrence of physical complaints, reduce employees’ workload and give them more time to tackle real challenges and focus on their personal development. Meanwhile, cobots can take care of the majority of “boring” and repetitive tasks.

The costs are worth it

Purchasing, programming and installing a cobot obviously requires a significant investment, but it will certainly pay off in the end. A cobot will e.g. save you money that would otherwise be spent on staffing employees and it can even make your organisation more profitable in the long run.

Cobots in the injection-moulding sector
In the plastics sector, the use of cobots is still in its infancy. We expect this to change before long, however. Rompa Group is therefore already exploring opportunities to have humans and robots work more closely together. Follow us on social media to stay up to date on the latest developments!