In an interaction with Industry Outlook, Karan Deep Singh, Vice President - Sales & Support, Anscer Robotics, shares his views on the human-robot collaboration developing in India, implementation of collaborative robotics in the factories, continuous capability monitoring, and more.
With incredible advancements in manufacturing, the world has progressed towards fourth industrial revolution, focusing on the development of cyber-physical systems, with human-robot collaboration being an integral part of these new systems. How is human-robot collaboration developing in India?
There is a direct correlation between the world’s top manufacturing nations and the average robot density in their industries. According to the latest International Federation of Robotics (IFR) statistics, South Korea, Singapore, Japan, Germany, and China are the most automated countries, each with over 300 robots for every 10,000 employees, with South Korea taking the lead with an impressive 1,000 industrial robots per 10,000 employees. Unfortunately, India does not currently feature on IFR’s latest list of top 20 automated countries, as robot adoption has proved quite difficult due to the challenges of traditional robotics, and there is a lack of education on how collaborative robots can combat these obstacles to enable simpler automation.
Even then, over the years, we have seen Indian companies big and small steadily leaning towards collaborative robots,
as they begin to understand how easy, fast, space-saving, and versatile they are, unlike their complex, bulky, inflexible predecessors. This speaks to the fact that our nation has immense potential to embrace this new technology and become globally competitive.
There are multiple barriers that need to be overcome for attaining an effective collaboration between man and robots. A major challenge is to efficiently break down a manufacturing process to allow for collaborative execution. How should collaborative robotics be implemented in the factories?
The 4Ds should be kept in mind when evaluating tasks to see if they can be automated, i.e. whether the task is Dull, Dirty, Dangerous, or Difficult. These types of activities are not suitable for humans, and over time, can cause immense mental and physical stress to people. Some examples of collaborative robotic arm
applications include packaging and palletizing, machine tending, and general assembly processes.
Also, since collaborative robots are lightweight, flexible, and can safely work with humans (following an application risk assessment), manufacturers can even consider smaller areas where traditional robots would be too bulky and dangerous to install.
For example, Bajaj Auto evaluated their assembly lines and found that their employees were at ergonomic risk due to tasks such as manual bolt tightening.
Traditional robots were too huge, inflexible, and unsafe to deploy on their shopfloor, so they did their research and found that collaborative robotic arms could work alongside their employees on the same assembly line. Today, they have multiple cobot arms, each handling dull, dirty, dangerous, or difficult tasks, while their employees have been upskilled to handle more creative, interesting work. Similarly, autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) are a type of collaborative robot that can understand, analyze, and independently navigate environments, so these are useful in various intralogistics tasks, such as moving pallets across the shop floor. You can even mount cobot arms on AMRs for even more flexibility. Since cobot arms must be in a fixed location, mounting one on an