The first application area is materials handling, such as picking, placing, and palletising.
The second is in the automation of welding tasks – particularly in metal fabrication – in a collaborative capacity. In this space the cobot is not intended to replace human welders, instead it is suited to augment the capabilities of human welders, working side by side with human welders, ideally suited for low-volume, high-mix production environments. We’ve released our own cobot welding system called the Weld Mate 355 that is perfect for collaboratively working alongside a human welder and enhancing their capabilities and throughput.
The third primary application for cobots is machine tending and is one whereby the cobot can altogether replace a human operator at the CNC machine. The menial task of machine tending is ideally automated by cobots, owing to their small footprint and flexibility.
The fourth is within assembly processes – with a whole range of compatible end-of-arm-tools (the “hands” of the cobot) the myriad of assembly tasks can be automated with the right tooling.
The fifth application is the whole range of emerging proof-of-concepts – think of it as the “you-name-it” category of applications. The benefits of cobots for manufacturers are broad with potentially limitless applications that represent a crucial advantage for Australian manufacturing and industry where flexibility, agility, resilience, and reliability in the face of unforeseen disruptions are highly prized qualities.