Contract manufacturers and job shops with high-mix, low-volume production need more flexibility than some robots can provide. Cobots, or collaborative robots, are more flexible than traditional robots and are easier to install, maintain, and move around a factory floor. They tend to be less expensive as well. Although cobot adoption is not yet widespread, an increasing number of manufacturers are discovering applications for this form of automation. Examples include assembly, dispensing, finishing, machine tending, material handling, material removal, welding, and quality inspections.
FuzeHub, the statewide New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NY MEP Center), is making it easier to check out cobots and evaluate potential applications. FuzeHub owns a UR5e collaborative robot arm and recently collaborated with the Center for Economic Growth (CEG), Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC), and Buffalo Manufacturing Works (BMW) to host a cobot training session for NY MEP and HVCC personnel. FuzeHub and CEG sponsored the event and BMW, which is part of the Edison Welding Institute (EWI), provided the instruction at HVCC on August 18th and 19th.
In addition to highlighting ideal robot applications, this two-day seminar provided participants with information about how to quantify the economic value of robotic upgrades. That’s an important consideration for contract manufacturers and job shops who are hesitant to invest in automation because of concerns about return on investment (ROI). For FuzeHub’s UR5e cobot, the next stop is a stint in HVCC’s mechatronics department, where it will be available for demonstration purposes and used by second-year students to automate a difficult materials test.
Are you looking for ways to improve manufacturing efficiency? Are you interested in automating operations? FuzeHub can help. To get started, ask to speak to an expert.