Transforming the factory floor to enhance productivity

Fears that robots will replace human workers “mostly unfounded”

Are robots forcing humans out of jobs and is it likely that this will increasingly happen in the future? Here, LG Motion takes a look at the arguments

We’ve seen a gradual increased presence of robots on manufacturing factory floors, and industries that have embraced automation have seen an increase in efficiency and productivity. There is a key concern amongst employees that the rise of robots will ensure the human worker extinct. This concern is mostly unfounded and is a result of scaremongering.

In more recent years, new ways of thinking have gained traction; rather than make their human counterparts redundant, the manufacturing robots of the future will work collaboratively alongside them. This future can be witnessed with the introduction of collaborative robots, commonly known as ‘cobots’, robots invented to complement human workers, operating in almost any environment. While we excel at complex thinking and problem-solving, robots are proficient at bringing accuracy to repetitive, and sometime unsafe, time-sensitive tasks.

What if robots do all the heavy-lifting and monotonous error-prone tasks, and employees are able to focus on more challenging and meaningful work. What if production lines were able to flow unsupervised, with minimal error? The workforce of the future sees robots working collaboratively with employees and complementing their work, improving efficiency and increasing productivity.

Well, that future already exists!

Small, lightweight, and designed to operate safely for close human operation, cobots are an ideal entry point for many businesses looking to embrace robotics. Cobots can execute tasks with minimal programming and can be adapted to integrate into existing processes. Cobots are a world away from their industrial robot counterparts and well suited to SMEs. Around the world, these collaborative robots are widely integrated and viewed simply as tools that coexist alongside human employees – allowing them to be more efficient.

Cobots are increasingly attractive to manufacturers who require flexible solutions for their production lines, but may not have the capital needed to justify large investments in automation systems.

A recent study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) found that cooperation reduced human idle time by 85%, making cobot-human working more productive than purely human or robot teams. 

In the UK, cobots are completing all manner of tasks, from stacking crates, painting and welding, to sticking on car door liners and basic QA inspections.

The cobots’ lower cost and easy programming enables more businesses to implement them into their production processes. With their refined torque-sensing capabilities and lightweight, but still solid, construction, they are safer to use and easy to deploy. The ability to adapt their software to suit means they can quickly be redeployed to add flexibility to your operations.

Going forward, what will this look like?

According to a report by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), international sales for robots reached almost £10 billion last year and has been increasing since 2017. The IFR predicts "a strong sales increase" in the coming years, particularly of robotic systems used for logistics, which is expected to more than double by 2022.

Future automation across all areas of manufacturing is inevitable,]. However, with increasing development of cobots, there is no danger in them taking over completely, as they need human intervention for connectivity and programming – for example, to carry out their purpose. Obviously, in the future there’s no doubt that many tasks that we do today will be taken over by cobots, but for an industry that suffers from skills shortages, like manufacturing, and the ongoing rise in UK wages, this may be a positive move. Using cobots provides many companies with an opportunity to upskill their employees, alleviating the dependency these skill shortages have caused.

This collaborative future has the potential for new, historically unimaginable, benefits. Rather than merely streamlining how businesses currently manufacture, it allows cobots to serve as a workhorse across organisations, transforming how businesses work and how they go about it.

One of LG Motion’s previous articles – ‘Is it the right time for collaborative robots’ – takes a look at the technology that is revolutionising your industry and whether you feel like you’re being left behind. More details here

Gary Livingstone, managing director at LG Motion, comments: “There is no doubt that there are huge benefits of having an automated system for repetitive tasks, but we’re also advising our customers to take it slowly and asking the question: is your business actually ready for a cobot?”

 

Robots of the future will work collaboratively alongside their human counterparts, states LG Motion.
Robots of the future will work collaboratively alongside their human counterparts, states LG Motion.

LG Motion Ltd

1 Telford Road
Basingstoke
RG21 6YU
UNITED KINGDOM

44 1256 365600

info@lg-motion.co.uk

www.lg-motion.co.uk

More from LG Motion Ltd

LG Motion has success deep at the ‘art’ of its business

Posted 2 months ago

LG Motion: onwards and upwards with Steinmeyer Mechatronics

Posted 4 years ago

LG Motion becomes UK distributor for Baumeister & Schack

Posted 4 years ago

SMAC 'Soft Land' moving coil actuators at LG Motion

Posted 4 years ago

LG Motion sponsors 2017 BEEA New Product of the Year award

Posted 4 years ago

Monorail BM profiled guideways from Schneeberger at LG Motion

Posted 4 years ago

LG Motion demonstrates SMAC's moving coil actuators

Posted 5 years ago

Miniature guideway has integrated guiding, measuring functions

Posted 5 years ago

LG Motion at the Engineering Design Show

Posted 5 years ago

LG Motion launches new Schneeberger roller guideway MR 45

Posted 5 years ago

LG Motion: motion control for diverse and exacting applications

Posted 5 years ago

XSlide linear positioning stages are compact and low cost

Posted 5 years ago

LG Motion's SMAC moving coil actuators at Drives & Controls 2016

Posted 5 years ago

Compact Airex linear motors from LG Motion

Posted 5 years ago

See LG Motion products and systems at Drives & Controls 2016

Posted 5 years ago

Miniature rotary table suits stepper or servo motors

Posted 6 years ago

Learn about 5S and workplace synchronicity

Posted 6 years ago

LG Motion: British Engineering Excellence Award Winners

Posted 6 years ago

Engineering Design Show - 2015: LG Motion

Posted 6 years ago

LG Motion acquires controlling interest in Precision Acoustics

Posted 6 years ago

LG Motion delivers 6-axis vacuum compatible positioning system

Posted 6 years ago

Specialised support rig for advanced radar assembly and test

Posted 6 years ago

Motion control plays enabling role for biomedical equipment

Posted 7 years ago

Design, build and integration capability meets delivery target

Posted 7 years ago

XYZR gantry scanning system design and build by LG Motion

Posted 7 years ago

LG Motion at Engineering Design Show 2014

Posted 7 years ago

LG Motion Ltd supply actuator & motion control for tyre test rig

Posted 7 years ago

LG Motion and Airex set up integration partner agreement

Posted 7 years ago

LG Motion and Arcus Technology in motion control

Posted 7 years ago

LG Motion facilitates PMDi's engineering projects

Posted 7 years ago

Oxford Materials choose LG Motion for spray deposition research

Posted 7 years ago

LG Motion at Drives and Control 2014

Posted 7 years ago

NEMA11 integrated microstepping motor, drive, control, encoder

Posted 8 years ago

LG Motion Ltd at Southern Manufacturing Show 2014

Posted 8 years ago

High-speed "˜waveform profile' linear positioner

Posted 8 years ago

LG Motion chosen for Astrium space satellite component test rig

Posted 8 years ago

LG Motion launches new website for motion control products

Posted 8 years ago

Arcus integrated USB stepper motor evaluation kit from LG Motion

Posted 8 years ago

LG Motion appointed national distributor for Arcus Technology

Posted 8 years ago

LG Motion at the Engineering Design Show 2012

Posted 9 years ago

Custom-built positioners for new Aardman movie from LG Motion

Posted 9 years ago

Visit LG Motion at Southern Manufacturing 2012

Posted 9 years ago

Motorised gantries used in the assembly of sandwich panels

Posted 9 years ago

Anorad selects LG Motion to supply PMDi motion controls

Posted 9 years ago

See high-performance positioning stages at Drives & Controls

Posted 9 years ago

Custom laboratory automation system for genetic research

Posted 10 years ago

PMDi Polaris high-speed motion control system from LG Motion

Posted 10 years ago

See high-precision motion products at Southern Manufacturing

Posted 11 years ago

LG Motion launches redesigned website with new features

Posted 11 years ago

New Heidenhain encoder distributor for the UK: LG Motion

Posted 12 years ago

Linear guides with integral encoders chosen for positioner

Posted 12 years ago

Posted 12 years ago

LG Motion to show innovations at Machine Building show

Posted 13 years ago

LG Motion wins two INSPIRE08 Business Awards

Posted 13 years ago

Schneeberger monorail BM series guideways delivered from stock

Posted 14 years ago

Servo drive incorporates motion control and networking

Posted 14 years ago

Miniature recirculating linear motion guide bearings

Posted 14 years ago

LG Motion reduces turnaround on automation products

Posted 14 years ago

LG Motion to distribute SMAC actuators, stages and controls

Posted 14 years ago

LG Motion highlights linear bearing cutting service

Posted 14 years ago

LG Motion launches new website

Posted 14 years ago

Low-cost linear positioner promises impressive performance

Posted 14 years ago

BiSlide modular positioning tables are more cost-effective

Posted 14 years ago

More news

Login / Sign up