The automotive industry has always been on the forefront of using robots in their operations with many automotive shops adopting at least one robot. The widespread adoption of robots can be attributed to the need to maintain flexibility and efficiency in the execution of tasks. Robots also tend to assist the workers at the automotive industry to execute their tasks with more ease while maintaining high precision levels. Robots are widely used in the automotive industry but some of the top applications include;
· Bionic hand
It is true that most of the operations in the automotive industry are carried out by robots. Some tasks such as wiring and wheel installation however are executed by human beings. The bionic hand is a robotic arm which was developed to help human beings in the execution of these tasks. It serves to aid the human hand to lift heavy objects without straining the muscles. The bionic hand is equipped with sensors which can identify an object and reach out for it. It also has simulated nerves and tendons similar to a human hand which facilitate the distribution of the weight of the object evenly preventing fatigue.
Painting of the body of a car requires a lot of skill and precision and finding skilled painters can prove to be a hard task. Robotic painting has helped the automotive industry as the robots are able to carry out the painting process consistently and give the same quality with every painting. They also lead to the reduction of the costs involved with painting a car as they can paint more cars in a day than human laborers would be able to accomplish. Robots developed for painting are equipped with a flow meter which regulates the amount of paint being sprayed reducing wastage of the paint.
· Robotic Vision
Robot arms are nowadays being developed with vision sensors which enable the robot to identify the specific parts it is supposed to install into the car. The vision sensors enable the robot to interact direct with its immediate environment. This gives the robot a greater sense of accuracy than when it was just following the programmed commands. With the use of vision sensors, changes in the assembly line do not lead to stoppage in the production process as the robot can register the changes through its vision sensors and adopt accordingly.
· Collaborative robots
Collaborative robots manufactured by Universal Robots are designed to work alongside human workers while promoting safety at the workplace. In the assembly line, collaborative robots handle the tasks which mostly require heavy lifting and repetition leaving the human workers to focus on other crucial operations. The use of collaborative robots at the assembly line not only improves the safety but also increases the overall productivity of the automotive industry.
· Robotic welding
Welding is highly applied in the automotive industry with the great need to join various parts to form a complete car. Use of robots in welding not only improves the quality of the output but also helps to increase the productivity as the robots are able to carry out more welds per unit time.
· Assembly of parts
At the automotive industry, robots are mostly involved in the assembly of small parts such as gear boxes and motors. They are able to do so at maximum speeds as robots are able to work for long periods of time without tiring. Application of robots in the assembly of car parts enables automotive manufacturers to release new and quality cars to meet the ever-growing demand of new cars.
· Removal of materials
Robots have the ability to carry out repetitive tasks without affecting the quality of the output. This makes the robots best suited for removal of materials during the assembly process. They are involved in the polishing of mold, cutting of fabric and trimming plastic to be placed in the finished model of a car.