The automotive industry has been one of the most significant users of robots since the early days of industrial automation. Today, robots are used extensively in automotive manufacturing for various tasks, from welding and painting to assembly and inspection. This article will explore the most common robots used in the automotive industry, including what they are used for, who manufactures them, and how they benefit the industry.
Articulated robots are the most common type of robot used in automotive manufacturing. These robots have a series of joints that allow them to move in multiple directions and perform various tasks. In the automotive industry, articulated robots are often used for welding, painting, and assembly tasks. The most popular manufacturers of articulated robots include ABB, Fanuc, and Kuka. The benefits of using articulated robots in automotive manufacturing include increased efficiency, improved quality control, and reduced labor costs.
Cartesian robots, or gantry robots, are another popular robot used in automotive manufacturing. These robots have a rectangular shape and move along a linear axis, making them ideal for tasks that require precise movements along a straight line. Cartesian robots are often used in the automotive industry for tasks like material handling and assembly. Some of the leading manufacturers of Cartesian robots include Yamaha Robotics, Adept Technology, and Mitsubishi Electric. The benefits of using Cartesian robots in automotive manufacturing include increased speed, accuracy, and efficiency.
SCARA robots, which stands for Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arm, have a vertical arm that can move in a circular motion. These robots are commonly used in the automotive industry for assembly, inspection, and packaging tasks. The most popular manufacturers of SCARA robots include Epson, Staubli, and Denso Robotics. The benefits of using SCARA robots in automotive manufacturing include increased speed and precision and improved efficiency and flexibility.
Collaborative robots (cobots)
Collaborative robots, also known as cobots, are a newer type designed to work alongside human operators. These robots are often used in the automotive industry for material handling, assembly, and inspection. The most popular manufacturers of cobots include Universal Robots, Rethink Robotics, and ABB. The benefits of using cobots in automotive manufacturing include increased safety, improved efficiency, and reduced labor costs.
Autonomous mobile robots (AMRs)
Autonomous mobile robots, or AMRs, are a type of robot that can move autonomously throughout a factory or warehouse. These robots are often used in the automotive industry for tasks like material handling, logistics, and inventory management. Some of the leading manufacturers of AMRs include MiR, Aethon, and Kollmorgen. Using AMRs in automotive manufacturing includes increased efficiency, improved safety, and reduced labor costs.
The financial implications of cobot deployment
The amount of money the automotive industry can save by deploying cobots (collaborative robots) can vary depending on several factors, such as the specific applications, the size of the facility, and the number of robots deployed. However, studies have shown that companies can save significantly by integrating cobots into their manufacturing processes.
For example, a report by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) estimated that the global sales value of cobots in the automotive industry was $145 million in 2018. It is projected to reach $1.3 billion by 2023. The report also noted that cobots could help reduce labor costs, improve productivity, and increase product quality, resulting in significant cost savings for automotive manufacturers.
Another study by ABI Research estimated that adopting cobots in the automotive industry could lead to savings of up to $4.6 billion by 2027. The study also noted that cobots could help to reduce production downtime, improve efficiency, and increase overall productivity.
Overall, while the specific cost savings of deploying cobots in the automotive industry can vary, it is clear that these robots can help companies reduce costs, increase efficiency, and improve product quality, which can significantly impact the bottom line.
Automotive robots play a crucial role in the automotive industry, helping to improve efficiency, quality control, and worker safety. Articulated robots, Cartesian robots, SCARA robots, collaborative robots (cobots), and autonomous mobile robots are some of the most common types of robots used in automotive manufacturing today. As technology continues to evolve, we will see even more innovative robotics solutions in the automotive industry in the years to come.