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How to Get Started with Industrial Robotics

Michael Schapoehler
Posted by Michael Schapoehler on Apr 2, 2024 9:58:49 AM

Many employees in industrial manufacturing are given the same repetitive tasks day in and day out. This causes boredom and monotony, which can be draining. Plus, the likelihood of repetitive motion injuries is significant. One way to transform your operations is by integrating industrial robotics. These machines take on mundane tasks, giving businesses an advantage and easing the burden on staff, enabling them to focus on intricate or rewarding responsibilities. Sounds incredible, doesn't it? However, not every task benefits from an industrial robot. Let's review what suits industrial automation best and how to get started with industrial robotics.

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Learning the Robotics Basics | Assessing Your Automation Readiness | Picking the Right Tasks for Automation | Financing Your Automation Journey | Avoiding Common PitfallsIntegrating Collaborative Robots into Your WorkflowInspecting the Road AheadFinal Word: The Future is NowFAQ & Resources 

Ready to start your industrial automation journey?
Watch our on-demand webinar and take the first step toward an automated and future-proof manufacturing operation.


Key Takeaways

        1. ✔️ Understanding basics, assessing automation readiness, and selecting suitable tasks are necessary for a successful industrial robotics application. 


        3. ✔️ If you are entering the world of industrial robotics, consider financials. What is best for your company? Buying, leasing, or Robot as a Service (RaaS)?

        4. ✔️Try to avoid common pitfalls and learn more about some of the most common industrial robots found, like Autonomous Mobile Robots or Collaborative Robots for your workflows. 

        5. ✔️ Lastly, the post highlights the need to stay updated on the latest innovations in AI, Machine Learning, and robotics regulations. Industrial robotics offers a great chance to enhance manufacturing efficiency, accuracy, and safety.



Learning the Robotics Basics

Before you begin exploring robotic solutions, it's essential to lay a sturdy foundation of knowledge. Robotics is an intricate field, weaving together mechanics, electronics, and sometimes artificial intelligence (AI). Understand the various types of industrial robots, their applications, and how they integrate within an automated system.

🧾 Learn more about the basics of industrial robotics in our blog post What is Industrial Robotics?. 

📺 Get more in-depth by watching our recorded webinar: Taking the leap into industrial robotics


Nomenclature and Varieties

After learning the basics, it's always a good idea to acquaint yourself with the jargon. From articulated arms to SCARA robots, each has a niche worth exploring. Familiarize yourself with the degrees of freedom, payload, and reach to align with your production line's needs.


Common Applications

Industrial robots' versatility is staggering. Explore applications such as material handling, welding, painting, assembly, and machine tending. Understanding the scope of robotic tasks is crucial for envisioning the enhancements they could bring to your manufacturing process. Check out some interesting applications below. 




Safety and Regulations

Robotic safety standards are stringent for a reason. Review the requirements and standards like ISO 10218 and 13849 to ensure that your robotic deployment thrives and does so with a safety-first attitude.

Learn more about industrial robotics safety standards in our blog post, "Robot Safety Standards 101: Developing a Safe Environment with Industrial Robots."


Assessing Your Automation Readiness

The next step provides you with insights into determining if your business is prepared for robotic automation.


Evaluating Current Workflows

young-engineer-or-technician-with-tablet-searching-2023-11-27-05-12-36-utcTake a closer look at your current operational procedures and workflows. Identify tasks that are repetitive, potentially hazardous, or demand a level of precision that exceeds human capabilities. By pinpointing these specific activities, you can better assess the areas where automation or advanced technology solutions could significantly enhance efficiency and safety.



Workforce Flexibility

professional-technician-engineer-with-safety-helme-2023-11-27-04-54-28-utcPrepare your workforce – both mentally and skill-wise – for the integration of robotics in manufacturing. Robotics are not intended to replace human workers but rather to empower and elevate their roles. By training employees and encouraging a tech-friendly mindset, companies can boost efficiency and innovation in manufacturing, fostering a harmonious human-machine synergy.


Picking the Right Tasks for Automation

Not all tasks are equal when it comes to automation. Some are better left to human hands, while others demand the efficiency and consistency of robots. Here’s what you need to look out for.


The 5 ‘D's of Task Suitability

Dull: Tasks that require low variance can become monotonous for human employees.

Dirty: Processes that are physically demanding or hazardous should be top of the list for automation.

Difficult: For tasks that are beyond manual capability.

Dangerous: Pertains to activities that involve unsafe environments or materials.

Deadline-driven: When precision and timing are crucial, robots can prevent delays and defects.


Financing Your Automation Journey

Salary - Bonus@3xEntering the industrial robotics world can be costly. Consider these financial options whether you’re a small manufacturer just dipping your toe into automation or a larger enterprise expanding your robotic fleet.


Buy or Lease?


Buying: Upfront costs can be mitigated over the long term, especially for businesses with the financial stability to invest.

Leasing: Short-term cost-effectiveness and the ability to upgrade for newer models as technology progresses make this an attractive option.

Did you know that Airline Hydraulics offers leasing programs for the TM Collaborative Robot? Ask your sales representative or contact us to learn more!


Avoiding Common Pitfalls

hell-do-whatever-it-takes-to-get-the-job-done-a-h-2023-11-27-04-53-42-utcRobot implementations may face challenges at various stages. Knowing common pitfalls and ways to overcome them is vital for any successful automation project.


Misjudging the Task Environment

Surprises can be quite unwelcome in the realm of automation. In these situations, having a transparent and unobstructed understanding of the task's context becomes even more crucial to ensure smooth operations and effective outcomes.

Insufficient Scoping

Embarking on a robotics project demands thorough consideration and effort. It involves strategic planning, starting with a comprehensive assessment of tasks to be undertaken. Designing the robotic cell needs careful attention for smooth integration and functionality.

Changes in Process

Processes change as the business world evolves. Embracing automation brings efficiency, yet navigating changes post-automation can pose challenges. It is crucial to proactively plan for adaptability and cultivate a culture that supports change management within your team. You can navigate transitions smoothly and drive continuous improvement by fostering flexibility and open communication.

Communication Breakdowns

Effective and succinct communication is crucial for all parties engaged in the automation process, spanning from the shop floor to the C-suite.

Integrating Collaborative Robots into Your Workflow

cobot_human_machine_prod-1The true MVP you should consider is collaborative robots (cobots). Cobots excel at tasks like repetition, precision, danger, and heavy lifting. They interact safely with humans, freeing them from mundane tasks and preventing injuries from overexertion. Learn more about cobots in our blog post, "Cobot Safety Myth-Busting."


Cobot Benefits 


Cobots are designed to safely and productively co-exist and interact with humans in overlapping workspaces. They are sensitive and responsive to their surroundings, thereby reducing the risk of injury to human workers.

Cobots can assist humans in performing tasks involving repetition, precision, danger, or heavy lifting. They help improve productivity, reduce repetitive injuries, and boost morale. 

Cobots are designed to be easier to program than traditional robots. Even if a worker needs to perform a new task, cobots can be quickly and easily taught to perform the functions.

Shop Cobots 



Inspecting the Road Ahead

2036059Industrial robotics is like sailing through a sea of growth and innovation, merging technology and automation to transform manufacturing. To stay ahead of the competition, it is important to stay alert for new tech, trends, and standards shaping automation and manufacturing. Subscribe to our blog for free knowledge and resources each week!


Niche Innovations

Specialized robotic systems are carving out niches in almost every industry. Watch for these to revolutionize your sector potentially. 


AI and Machine Learning

These are not just buzzwords – they're becoming essential additives to robotic systems, powering predictive maintenance, adaptive control, and more.


Regulatory Landscape

Stay informed about the changing robotics regulations and how they might influence your future plans.



Final Word: The Future is Now

The transformative power of industrial robotics is not just for the largest companies with bottomless pockets. Robotic automation is more accessible than ever, and the time to start is now. Robots are ready to join the team whether you’re building a better product, aiming for just-in-time agility, or ensuring a safe and ergonomic workplace.

Remember, the key to successful industrial robotics is not just the machines; it’s a harmonious dance between technology and people. When integrated with care and foresight, robots can bring about a renaissance in manufacturing efficiency and human well-being.

Ready to start your industrial automation journey? Watch our on-demand webinar and take the first step toward an automated and future-proof manufacturing operation.



If you have more questions or need further clarification on any points, don't hesitate to contact our team for personalized support.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Industrial Robotics

What Are the Main Benefits of Industrial Robotics?

Industrial robotics can dramatically increase manufacturing operations' efficiency, accuracy, and safety. They can work 24/7, reduce production times, and minimize human exposure to hazardous environments.


Are Robots Going to Replace Human Workers?

No, the goal of industrial robotics is to augment and empower the human workforce, taking over mundane and dangerous tasks and freeing up employees for more skilled and creative roles.


What Is the Difference Between Traditional Industrial Robots and Cobots?

Traditional industrial robots are designed for high performance in specific tasks and usually operate autonomously, often in cages for safety. Cobots (collaborative robots), on the other hand, are designed to work alongside humans, with built-in safety features that allow for direct interaction.


Can Industrial Robotics be Integrated with Existing Systems?

Yes, one of the strengths of modern industrial robotics is their ability to be integrated with existing manufacturing systems and workflows through careful planning and customization by skilled integrators.



Topics: Explainers, Robotics

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