Are you Cobot Ready? – How to manage a team of people and collaborative robots

  Are you Cobot Ready? - How to Manage a Team of People and Collaborating Robots

By Jonathan Wilkins, Marketing Director, EU Automation

Steve Jobs once said, "Great things in business are never done by one person done by people. "In the manufacturing industry, collaborative robots join the team to accomplish even greater things. This article explains how to manage a mixed team of collaborative robots and humans.

Collaborative robots, commonly known as Cobots, account for only three percent of all robot sales worldwide from Ventures, according to a report by the International Federation of Robotics and Loup. However, awareness of their benefits to manufacturers is growing and it is expected that sales of Cobots will increase to 34 percent of robot sales by 2025.

Despite the benefits that manufacturers can achieve through the introduction of Cobots, concerns are attached to developing their impact on occupational safety, satisfaction and even job preservation. To address these concerns, farm managers need to know how to effectively manage a mixed team of humans and coypots.

Safety

Conventional industrial robots are often encased in a cage to protect human workers. This is not necessary for the Cobots because they should work with humans. Instead, advanced technology is used to keep staff safe.

For example, the safety assessment of the monitored stop function causes the cobs to stop moving when approaching a human. In addition, power and force limiting functions ensure that a Cobot, when in direct contact with a human being, reduces its strength to prevent injury. If your Cobot is run by humans, it's best to buy one with power and strength limiting features

The safety of your employees is not just up to you and the Cobot. All employees must be trained in safe work with the Cobots. This requires an understanding of how they work, their benefits and their limitations.

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Introducing Cobots

Regardless of the safety features of your Cobots and the amount of training your employees receive, the transition to a mixed team of humans and Cobots must be gradual Set new technology

Start with just one Cobot and monitor the workforce response. Enable open communication with your employees as questions arise as they gain more experience with the technology. It is also important to continue the employee training program so that problems can be dealt with in a practical way.

Delegation

Another important consideration is the delegation of tasks. Cobots, unlike humans, do not tire, so jobs can be given that require repeated, continuous actions. They also work with high accuracy and precision and can therefore be used to increase repeatability and product quality.

On the other hand, works that require creativity are most effectively performed by humans. Likewise, empathy and adaptability are important to customer roles and properties that Cobots still has to master.

When Steve Jobs co-founded Apple in 1976, he probably did not envisage robots and people working side by side in his office manufacturing facilities around the world. His views on the power of teamwork, however, indicate that he had taken on the challenge of leading a mixed team of humans and robots.

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