Brace yourself for some shocking statistics:
- $13,000 – $22,000: The average cost of a repetitive stress injury to a company
- 16 months: The average lost work time for an employee
Repetitive motion injuries, unlike other workplace injuries, don’t occur because of accidents. They occur from doing a job properly thousands to tens of thousands of times.
Pick and place activities create repetitive motion injury risk. To avoid losses in work hours and Worker’s Compensation claims, think laterally.
Robot arms streamline the pick and place tasks of your business by producing fast and accurate results that leave higher value tasks to the people.
Dynamic Pick and Place Operations
Automation produces results. Automation reduces injury. Automation drives industry.
Since the early 1900s, the truth of this statement only gets louder. Well, actually it gets quieter and takes on more a rhythmic hum and ch-chunk quality.
This is a result of all the robots that work efficiently and quietly.
Automation creates the opportunity for a company to create value in products. The consistency of quality makes a solid bond of trust with consumers. Producing a steady number of units creates trust with resellers and suppliers.
Advantages of automation affect every level of production. From setting timetables for components and completed products to performance expectations of those products.
Costs of warranty replacement and repairs lower as odds of defects and errors reduce.
Waste from broken components and dropped items go away. The only thing a robot arm doesn’t eliminate is human employees and instincts.
Robot arms no longer exist in the automotive plant or large industrial operations. The types of robot arms evolve with their need. The need has no limits.
Robot arms work in agriculture, aviation, postal services, recording studios, and a thousand other applications.
Ease of use, the range of mobility, and re-programmability define the modern robot arm.
Let’s break down how each of these features makes a robot arm indispensable in a pick and place operation.
Axis by the Numbers
Think back to the Cartesian grid from a geometry or trigonometry class.
- X-axis defines horizontal motion.
- Y-axis defines vertical motion.
- Z-axis defines depth motion.
These axes define the space through which a robot arm moves. They don’t necessarily line up with what is meant by an axis.
The use of axis for a robot arm could better be understood as a pivot point. Pivots allow for a range of motion on a robot arm the same as your own wrist or elbow.
The number axis available to a robot arm determines the overall range of motion. Most industries relied on simple 2-axis robots since the 90s. These robots could move along two pivot points.
4-axis robots provide the most stable and useful functionality for most industry needs. 6-axis robots come next. These exist but are some time away from standardization and cost-effective implementation.
4-axis robots typically move along the base left to right and also forward and backward. The third axis along upper arm works like an elbow. The fourth creates a wrist rotation joint.
The analogy between a 4-axis robot and the human arm represent the potential to replicate motion easily.
Different programming languages control robot arms. The differences between each depending on the end-task to be performed.
The most common languages:
Different industries prefer one or another language mostly due to standards within. For example, circuit producers and electronic engineers commonly rely on MATLAB programming. Arduino gained popularity in gaming and art circles.
Regardless of what programming language you choose, the outcome remains the same. A robot arm performs a task and can be retooled to perform another.
This provides versatility on a production line and replaces tiresome pick and place tasks. The uptick in efficiency and speed results in greater throughput with fewer problems.
Internet of Things Compatible
The growing importance of the Internet of Things provides another reason to get into robot arms for pick and place operations. Companies need to know the stage and position of each product.
With robot arms attaching components, the guesswork and estimations disappear. The number of units becomes a known quantity calculated from runtime and a knowledge of how many cycles a robot arm can complete in a minute or hour.
Consistency reflects the highest value of a robot arm to a pick and place operation. While a human employee can be reliable and get the work done, they don’t have mechanical timing.
Nobody needs to run a test of man versus machine to see which one performs faster because faster isn’t the goal. A company doesn’t succeed by putting out products faster than the competition. They outperform by delivering a quality product within a reasonable expectation of time.
Robot arms provide measured and consistent quality. Each task performed creates the same number of units in the same amount of time.
A company that knows how much of each item it creates in a time window can ensure an order’s quality and quantity.
Rushes, overages, and shortfalls disappear when robot arms keep the math neat and orderly.
The Human Factor
Human employees don’t get replaced by robot arms in a pick and place operation. Robots do one task at a time with speed and durability, true, but they don’t know how to gauge success.
Human employees, freed from repetitive and injurious tasks can be placed in higher skill positions that require decision making.
Workers won’t be bogged down with dull tasks so they can concentrate on performing more dynamic tasks.
There is no question that preventing injury to employees leads to success in terms of the bottom line and productivity.
Losing money from workers stuck at home recovering from injury hurts morale and it hurts the bottom line.
Robot arms continue to advance in technical specs and end-use functionality. The industry moves quickly and knowing what provides the best function for cost gets difficult.
Get robots that perform as advertised so your company can perform at expectation.
Check out our line of industry ready pick and place robot arms, as well as other robot products at our website.