More and more industrial manufacturers are moving towards automated solutions both to improve efficiency and solve staffing dilemmas. These jobs are often boring, repetitive, and/or prone to injury due to the work environment or the repetitive motion. The use of robots allows these positions to be filled permanently without the danger to human resources. While it is clear to see the application of robotics for jobs such as sorting, machine tending, packing, and palletizing, it may be less obvious how quality professionals can take advantage of automation. Though there are admittedly metrology applications which are less than ideal for robotics, there are many for which robots are well-suited that can save you both time and money. Imagine being able to free up your quality team from doing repetitive tasks and let them solve more complex problems to improve your quality processes.
There are two main categories of robots that we will discuss here: industrial robots and collaborative robots. Industrial robots are considered superhuman in that they move faster, are more precise, and can lift more than a human. Because of their speed and strength these robots require safety precautions including cage systems to protect the humans working in the area. Collaborative robots, or cobots, on the other hand are intended to be safe to work alongside humans. They move more slowly, have a lower payload, and have safety features such as force sensors to prevent injury.