Industrial Robots

Delta robots are used extensively for assembly and other applications that require high-speed repetition. They are able to complete highly repetitive tasks, such as small part assembly, quickly and perfectly each time.

While we may someday have the technical ability to produce such industrial robots, today’s robots are actually quite simple devices. Motions that we take for granted—picking up a coin from the table, for instance—are considerably more difficult for a robot.

Over the past decade, the global sales volume of industrial robots tripled, peaking at around 422,000 units in 2018, before declining by 12 percent to around 373,000 units in 2019. The tremendous growth in worldwide shipments of industrial robots is largely driven by the automotive sector, which accounted for almost a third of new installations in 2019. Consequently, the prevalence of industrial robots is particularly high in countries with a strong automotive sector. In South Korea, there are over 850 robots per 10,000 manufacturing employees. In the automotive sector, this figure exceeds 2,000 installations per 10,000 employees. Not surprisingly, the top industry for robotics is automotive with almost 30% of the total number of industrial robot installations. This has been a driving industry for robotics since the first-ever industrial robot, the Unimate, was introduced into General Motors plants back in 1959.

Our brain processes thousands of variable bits of data from our eyes to instruct our arm, wrist, hand, and fingers to reach, grasp, and pick up the coin. Even the tactile feel of the coin constantly updates our brain to provide just enough finger pressure to grip the coin securely. To easily and economically program an industrial robot to perform the same task, many of these variables must be restricted or eliminated.

Some robots can also be placed in a fixed position on a wall or mounted to enable angular movement. A robotic system console typically incorporates a digital computer featuring the operating system and application software needed for running automated tasks. A system operator can program or control robotic movements through a push-button array on the console, enabling some degree of manual control over programmed sequences. During system setup, careful adjustments are made to the programming to ensure the robot does not collide with any surrounding objects while operating. While robots and robotics are closely related, the two terms refer to different things. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, robots are machines that operate on their own to take over work otherwise done by humans, generally monotonous or dangerous tasks.

The integration of industrial robots and cobots into factory workspaces to improve accuracy and efficiency saw numbers reach near record highs, but it has slowed based on 2019 sales, the IFR report shows. While there are more robots in operation now, demand will most likely ebb until economies encourage companies to make new investments again. The overall number of industrial robots operating in factories worldwide grew to 2.7 million in 2019 — a 12% increase from 2018 and a historic high, the report shows. The installation of collaborative robots, known as cobots, also grew at 11% YoY. The yearly Hannover Industry Fair usually gives a good overview about the robotics market and this year HEAVY and COOP have been omnipresent.

Experts at your local Solutions and Support Center can consult on your application and put together an integrated solution complete with software, controls, and vision systems. While their market share is still small, manufacturers of industrial robots like Honyen, Siasun or Estun are slowly gaining market share in their home market. To get a feeling of the proportion, however, let me mention that in the first three quarters of 2019, Fanuc alone sold more than 3.5 times the number of robots in China than all of its Chinese competitors. As industrial robots have life spans of decades, the proven long-term reliability and robustness of the incumbents seem still to be very convincing. By 2022 the number of operational industrial robots worldwide is expected to surpass the population of Berlin. Nowadays in our factories, flexible cobots work hand in hand with people and machine learning is helping them to become even more versatile. It is very fascinating to follow the developments of the fast-paced automation industry.

In a major shift, the increase was fueled by nonautomotive companies, it said. Industrial robots are spreading out from automotive factories into a host of other industries, ranging from food production to electronics manufacturing. Students and engineers interested in understanding the mathematical models of industrial robots and their most common control methods. From tools that rapidly handle small parts and products to palletizing robotic arms that make assembly and disassembly easy at the dock door, our collaborative robotic options offer an excellent first step into warehouse automation. Raymond’s Sales and Centers and strategic partnership with Bastian Solutions, can design, program, and maintain a custom robotic system to help you streamline a variety of operations from picking and packing to palletizing.

A robot the size of a person can easily carry a load over one hundred pounds and move it very quickly with a repeatability of +/-0.006 inches. Furthermore these robots can do that 24 hours a day for years on end with no failures whatsoever. Though they are reprogrammable, in many applications they are programmed once and then repeat that exact same task for years.

Spherical robots were some of the first industrial robots to be used in manufacturing for construction and other dexterous tasks that require advanced control. Nowadays, though, they are becoming less and less popular as articulated robots are more flexible. Electric motors,hydraulic drives, andpneumatic actuatorsare the most common mechanisms used to power industrial robots. Electric motors feature highly efficient power sourcing and have relatively simple design characteristics, making them one of the more popular options in terms of cost-to-performance ratings. However, hydraulic drives are more prone to maintenance issues and carry the risk of oil leakage, which can create a fire hazard in enclosed spaces. Hydraulic robot systems are also less suited for indoor work in controlled environments where they are in close proximity to personnel.

For instance, Self-driving car spinoff Waymo may buy up to 20,000 electric vehicles from Jaguar Land Rover to help realize its vision for a robotic ride-hailing service. The industrial robots are expected to be used for upgrading and manufacturing purposes. The shifting of the automotive industry toward autonomous and electric vehicles is also creating a massive opportunity for industrial robots. For instance, in July 2018, International Automotive Components , implemented manufacturing 4.0 and smart factory applications at its UK site, in Halewood, England. The new application is expected to deploy smart logistics, cross-company integration, and collaborative robots . Industrial robots are automated, programmable, and capable of movement on three or more axis. The mining industry, once reliant on human capital, is now predominantly reliant on technology and advanced robotics.

For example, there are many companies that are developing uncrewed, remote-controlled flying drones that can provide real-time analysis and monitor potentially dangerous situations. These types of drones have applications for both military and public safety use. The second phase has started to create industrial robots that don’t just perform simple tasks. They also absorb data and respond to new information so that they actively improve. While these robots are still predominantly seen in the automotive industry, it won’t be long before they affect every type of industry.

Control Consoles

Today, DENSO subsidiary DENSO WAVE develops high-productivity robots, designed to maximize the efficiency of operations in the manufacturing of engineered products such as automobiles and medical instruments. This is another Japanese brand that has led the industrial robotics industry since the first launch of itsall-electric industrial robotMotoman in 1977. 2019 looks to be a good year for the world’s top industrial robotics companies, with many of them innovating and simplifying the industry. Industrial robotics services are also benefiting, expecting an incremental growth of well over $4 billion by 2021. Specific interest is in Automotive robotics for different applications such as, dispensing, handling, welding, and fitting. Key players in the market have been determined through primary and secondary research.

They are revolutionizing conventional industrial processes across the globe, allowing manufacturers to increase productivity at higher quality and lower costs. With the mechanical safety fence replaced by a virtual, sensor-based one, an industrial robot today must be in tune with the frequently changing environment in which it works. On the factory floor, industrial robots need to be easy and flexible to program, so they can adapt to the specifications of any given task, such as welding. Robots also need to be capable of smart material handling and, in the case of cobots, working side-by-side with humans. It has a huge business in motion control systems such as servo motors, the technology which industrial robots are said to have grown out of. We have tried to limit the list to “industrial” robots, although some of the smaller robotic arms are not necessarily suitable for heavy industry, just perhaps light industry and various enterprise applications. Read more about how industrial robots are used in different industries and applications.

The value of the industrial robots shipped in North America last year topped $1.8 billion, the Robotic Industries Association said. The top two applications for factory robots are material handling and spot welding. Last year, shipments of industrial robots to companies in North America rose 7% to a record 35,880 units, according to the Robotic Industries Association.

Pneumatic actuators are commonly used for powering the mechanisms that interact with external objects, such as the grippers mounted on the end of electric-drive robot arms. A pair of pneumatic actuators working in unison to power a single gripper can enable it to move along multiple axes. Anindustrial robotic systemhas the potential to handle a wider range of duties than standard automatic machinery, even if the machinery can be equipped with multiple tooling configurations. But although they can be used as multifunctional devices, most industrial robots are designed to specialize on a specific task, such as assembling, loading, painting, or welding. This trendsetter started developing industrial robots in 1967 and in the early 1980s. The company developed 4-axis and 6-axis industrial robots that have unlimited freedom of movement.

As a result, major industrial robot manufacturers posted a lower than expected growth and revenue for the year ending 2018. However, APAC remains a significant market for industrial robots and is expected to hold the largest share during the forecast period. As less number of workers are inclined to perform hazardous jobs in processing such as grinding and milling, manufacturers are looking into automation. With advances in software, force/torque sensors, and end-effectors, manufacturers are heavily automating these tasks using robots.

These types of robots conduct reconnaissance and compile important information about the interior of a mine. For example, Stanley Innovation has an advanced custom robot that is placed on a Segway robotic mobility platform , allowing it to maneuver over hazardous terrain. The modern manufacturing industry first started using programmable industrial robots as early as 1961.

Most are used for repetitive painting and welding operations, while others, known as pick-and-place robots, are used to lift and place products into machines and packages. The Asia Pacific region dominated the market with a revenue share of over 52.0% in 2016 and is anticipated to continue its dominance throughout the forecast period. The region also had the maximum number of units shipped in 2016, which stood at around 151 thousand units. The food segment is likely to exhibit the highest CAGR over the forecast period. However, due to various government regulations and food safety standards, the demand witnessed for industrial robotics in the initial years was low in the sector. Nevertheless, with the surging demand for packaged food and fast food, their demand is expected to increase. Early industrial robots had limited “intelligence”, autonomy and operational degrees of freedom.

This is beneficial not only from an efficiency standpoint, but in terms of health and safety as well. Such tasks have been found to cause musculoskeletal disorders in humans over long periods of time. Articulated robots have rotary joints that allow for a full range of motion. They can perform very precise movements which makes them useful in manufacturing lines where they need to bend in different directions. Multiple arms can be utilized for greater control or to execute multiple tasks at once. Although larger robotic systems tend to be floor-standing, some variants are designed to be mounted vertically, upside down, or at an angle to improve accessibility within a workspace. For example, a vertically-mounted unit can be attached to a structural frame with a rail, allowing it to move a predetermined distance when performing a long weld or painting a large object.

Repetitive and strenuous tasks such as surface polishing can be automated for consistent results. Advances in features such as wear and tear compensation of tools are enabling easier programming and deployment of robots for such tasks. Automation in processing applications will significantly minimize the exposure to harmful particulates such as metal dust to factory workers.

They were mostly designed to perform one or two sets of repetitive tasks in a highly controlled environment. IDC Manufacturing Insights conducts research on the impact of commercial robotics on industry processes.

The first two IRB 6 robots were sold to Magnusson in Sweden for grinding and polishing pipe bends and were installed in production in January 1974. Also in 1973 KUKA Robotics built its first robot, known as FAMULUS, also one of the first articulated robots to have six electromechanically driven axes. Many people think of robots as the humanoid-type monsters that are seen in science fiction and fantasy movies.

Next Manufacturing: Industry 4 0

The study involved four major activities in estimating the current size of the industrial robotics market. Exhaustive secondary research has been done to collect information about the market, the peer market, and the parent market. Validating findings, assumptions, and sizing with industry experts across the value chain through primary research has been the next step. Both top-down and bottom-up approaches have been employed to estimate the complete market size.

In 2018, around 130,000 new robots were installed in the automotive industry. Robots have been used in the automotive industry for a long time, and while today they are used in many different ways, but the 6 applications mentioned above are some of the most common uses of robotics in this industry. The automotive manufacturing industry has long been one of the quickest and largest adopters of industrial robotic technology, and that continues to this day. Robots are used in nearly every part of automotive manufacturing in one way or another, and it remains as one of the most highly automated supply chains in the world. Industrial robots are the key enabler of Industry 4.0 and the factories of the future.

  • The Robotics segment is responsible for supplying articulated robots for various applications that include welding, assembly, palletizing, machining, deburring, and painting.
  • The company has subsidiaries at major countries across North America, Europe, APAC, Middle East, Africa, and South America.
  • It operates in four primary business segments that include Motion Control, Robotics, System Engineering, and Other.
  • The payload capacity of robots offered range anywhere from 0.5 Kg to 900 Kg.
  • The company offers both traditional as well as collaborative industrial robots, which includes articulated and parallel robots.
  • YASKAWA has established a business operation in 30 countries and has production facilities in 12 countries around the world.

ABB Robotics is a pioneer in robotics, machine automation and digital services, providing innovative solutions for a diverse range of industries, from automotive to electronics to logistics. As one of the world’s leading robotics and machine automation suppliers, ABB Robotics employs more than 10,000 people in 53 countries and has shipped more than 500,000 robot solutions. According to the International Federation of Robotics study World Robotics 2019, there were about 2,439,543 operational industrial robots by the end of 2017. For the year 2018 the IFR estimates the worldwide sales of industrial robots with US$16.5 billion. Including the cost of software, peripherals and systems engineering, the annual turnover for robot systems is estimated to be US$48.0 billion in 2018. Industrial robotics took off quite quickly in Europe, with both ABB Robotics and KUKA Robotics bringing robots to the market in 1973. ABB Robotics introduced IRB 6, among the world’s first commercially available all electric micro-processor controlled robot.

After that, market breakdown and data triangulation methods have been used to estimate the market size of segments and subsegments. The APAC region is expected to be the fastest growing market compared to other regions. This is primarily due to the presence of a large electrical and electronics industry in Asia, coupled with major regional industrial robotics players such as FANUC , YASKAWA , and Mitsubishi Electric . Developing countries in the APAC region also offer a potential growth opportunity for the market in the near future. Although APAC held the largest share in 2018, it lost its share to other regions compared to the previous year. A decrease in sales of industrial robots in countries like China due to the falling demand from the automotive sector and the effects of the US-China trade war is mainly responsible for the slowdown.

Position, reach, weight, and grasp should remain as consistent as possible so that variations do not result in missing or dropping the object. The computer that controls the robot must be programmed by a technician, to “teach” the machine to complete the motion. The areas where robots perform better than humans are in accuracy and repeatability. While some people could pick up the coin with similar motions each time, the robot can perform the operation with exactly the same motions without tiring. Many robots can repeat motions with an accuracy of a few thousandths of an inch and operate 24 hours a day. Because of this tireless, accurate work, robots are a growing segment of industrial equipment purchases.