Mobile robots continue to gain popularity in manufacturing owing to several benefits, starting from safety, scalability, flexibility, high-efficiency, easy deployment, and autonomous navigation to the ability to meet international standards. They also reduce the workforce, eliminating human errors occurring in warehouses and logistics.
The result? The demand for mobile robots is snowballing across the globe. According to the research firm Allied Market Research, the global mobile robotics market is likely to reach $39.58 billion by 2026. As mobile robots become faster, smarter, and cheaper, more and more companies are beginning to integrate them in conjunction with their workforce. This trend has several positive outcomes for the manufacturing industry.
High productivity & efficiency
Mobile robots offer an exceptional level of consistency in productivity and quality when performing repetitive tasks. They can be programmed to produce predictable and precise results with little variation than their human counterparts. Robots can complete specific tasks faster and more efficiently than humans as they are designed and built to perform them with higher accuracy. Additionally, they do not need to take breaks and can work 24 hours a day without shift changes or other interruptions. Once a robot is correctly programmed and trained to do a specific job, manufacturers can speed up the production, creating a leaner manufacturing process which translates into higher profits.
Improved safety and working environment
Some tasks are deemed too dangerous or difficult and repetitive for humans to carry out. Heavy machinery, machinery that runs at hot temperatures, and sharp objects can easily injure a human being. People can also experience fatigue or get easily distracted during working hours. For manufacturers, mobile robots are the best alternative as they can work in all conditions. Robots can quickly take over health-threatening, unpleasant, or arduous tasks currently undertaken by manual workers. They can also decrease the likelihood of accidents caused by contact with machine tools or other potentially hazardous production machinery or processes. By delegating dangerous tasks to a robot, you’re more likely to look at a repair bill than an expensive medical bill or a lawsuit.
Cost-efficiency is a promising reason for adapting mobile robots in manufacturing. Typically if you replace one person on a critical process in a production line with a robot, the output increases by 40% in the same working hours. When one robot replaces dozens of workers, factory owners save on employee wages. Though the initial deployment cost seems daunting, manufacturing companies can achieve a quick ROI (return of investment) within two years due to increased productivity and higher speed of throughput. Robots can work in lights-out conditions and don’t require climate control, thus saving on utilities. Robots reduce the amount of breakages and waste produced as a result of poor quality or inconsistent finishing. This can cut the production cost dramatically. With no requirement for lighting or heating on the manufacturing floor, robots offer an excellent opportunity to lower your energy bills.
Quality assurance is another good reason why manufacturers are investing in mobile robots. Unlike humans, robots can carry out repetitive tasks without a decline in concentration level. They eliminate the possible human error in the assembly lines. They have precision and superior repeatability in every job, which can be difficult to accomplish any other way. The inherent accuracy and repeatability of robots means you can achieve a consistently high-quality finish for every product produced.