Robots are giving a completely new dimension to the manufacturing industry. They have been designed and programmed to perform specialized tasks that are dangerous and difficult for human workers. They are often used for moving heavy material in manufacturing and production settings.
There is a constant increase in the adoption of robots in the manufacturing industry as it reduces raw material wastage, optimizes operational costs, and enhances productivity. Further, the constant advancements in robotic technology like big data, artificial intelligence, internet of things and machine learning are providing a major boost to the existing demand.
Future Trends in Robotic Automation
- Collaborative robots: These robots are capable of coordinating and working alongside humans leading to higher productivity and efficiency. They are easy to program which increases their flexibility along with the ability to perform multiple tasks. Further, they consume less time to implement leading to low initial levels of investment.
- Big Data: Robots will become a key source of information on the factory floor. Big Data helps manufacturers to combine this flow of data with intelligent and real-time analysis to provide on improving production efficiency, optimize supply chain, manage power consumption & energy efficiency as well as plan machinery maintenance regimes.
- Drones as robots: The use of drones like robots is extremely useful in many areas of manufacturing starting for transportation of raw materials, to monitoring production lines to keeping a check on inventory. This helps in easing human time required on these activities leading to making use of their time in a more meaningful manner throughout the plant facility.
- Cloud Robotics: It allows onboard robots to connect with external machines and supplements external storage from remote servers via the cloud. This is very useful when storage requirement exceeds the onboard robot’s capacity. Further cloud robotics can transfer heavy computer task in the cloud storage leading to easy maintenance as well as lowering the cost of storage.
- Industrial Cybersecurity: Robots are getting connected to almost all the internal systems for collecting real-time data useful for managing other floor functions. This will increase the risk of Cybersecurity. To tackle the issue manufacturers have to design a full proof plan and invest heavily in Cybersecurity ensuring safety and reliability on the production floor.
Manufacturers must constantly monitor and be innovative in their approach while making any transformational decision in terms of buying new robots or applying new automation solutions. It is important to understand whether the solution is cohesive with other systems and will have a strategic approach in encouraging employees to embrace robotics in the future. It is beyond doubt that robots will not only collaborate with humans but will also help in revolutionizing the job roles and skill sets of human employees at the workplace.
– Pavan Mudholkar,
Sr Research Analyst,