The use of robotics manufacturing industry is nothing new. Robots have been in use since the 1960s, mostly in the automotive industry. Other industries have since made use of robotics manufacturing is also a major beneficiary of this type of automation. This level of automation is mostly associated with large-scale manufacturers but what of smaller industries? Can medium-sized industries afford robotics? Just how accessible is low-cost automation and robotics manufacturing?
To small and medium-sized industries, the terms low-cost and automation are often perceived to be far removed from each other. Automation itself suggests a huge investment. Inserting the word robotics in the mix generates a mix of awe, curiosity as well as reluctance and rejection. Conveyor belts and specialized machines are one thing, but robotics? Electronics Manufacturing companies however cannot afford to skirt the issue. These companies demand round-the-clock operation especially with component shortages happening more frequently.
Electronics Manufacturing companies require extended hours of work as well as increasing levels of precision and less wastage. Humans can only do so much in such an industry. Thanks to advances in machine vision, quality control that involved human’s visual acuity and insight is increasingly being shifted to robots. In fact, there are companies overseas that have already implemented a lights-out approach to electronics manufacturing. Robotics playing a major part, with almost no human interaction. Most electronics companies use robotics in their workforce suggesting that low-cost automation is accessible.
The increasingly widespread use of robotics has made this industry relatively more affordable as more and more robotics companies are set up. They compete with each other to acquire electronics manufacturing clients as well as clients in other industries by offering low-cost automation, extolling the long-term benefits of robotics mainly through reducing labor costs.
Robotics may now be more advanced, but these advancements enable them to be more flexible and ironically simpler to use and adapt to various tasks. As basic movements and artificial intelligence are integrated into the machine, programming them becomes simpler. Machine vision and image recognition have also much improved resulting from their heavy use in electronics manufacturing. Aside from improved machine vision and artificial intelligence, there’s also increased modularity. For example, one robotic arm can be used for several purposes by simple retooling or replacement of arm attachments. Such modularity can decrease the cost by having one base robot that can be customized for more than one task.
How Accessible is Low-cost Automation and Robotics Manufacturing?
The answer is pretty much. The increasing number of robotics providers means less-expensive solutions as they compete for smaller-scale clients. Aside from costs, technological advances which have resulted in multi-featured robots that are simpler to use. As mentioned, robots can easily be configured and reprogrammed to perform various tasks. This can be done either in-house or through low-cost support agreements with the providers.
Low-cost automation involving Robotics and Electronics Manufacturing doesn’t need to eliminate the human factor entirely. Companies can be gradually weaned out of human labor through the use of cooperative robots, or cobots, by giving simpler but demanding and repetitive tasks such as loading or carrying heavy items from one area to another. Such can increase the company’s performance and output, putting them in a position to acquire more complex robots and increasing their level of automation.
Thanks to robotics and electronics manufacturing costs, electronics products can only get cheaper as human labor is gradually reduced. Robots do not tire, they do not take breaks, they do not need restrooms, nor do they form unions. Robotics also become more advanced yet simpler to use with every generation. Its evolution coincides with the electronics industry it supports, hence manufacturing robots themselves become cheaper, thus making low-cost automation more accessible.