Collaborative robots, or ‘cobots’ for short, are leading the way in smart factory automation. For businesses small and large, they can nevertheless represent a fairly large investment. When creating or overhauling manufacturing systems, this investment has to be weighed up against more traditional means of automation.
A number of factors have to be considered, including the degree to which manufacturing cycle times can be improved, the percentage of products that need to be returned due to quality issues, the overall costs and the impact on revenue.
Where other advanced robot solutions have already been integrated into automated production lines, a business may reasonably question what advantages collaborative robots have. This article explores nine reasons why JAKA collaborative robots have a distinct edge, when it comes to industrial automation. These are the top nine reasons to invest.
JAKA collaborative robots are designed with quick, easy integration in mind. There is no need to completely remodel production lines, or spend weeks refitting manufacturing facilities, in order for them to begin completing their desired tasks. There are a few features that make integration simple:
All JAKA cobots are compact, lightweight, and can be installed at any angle. No matter whether it’s a mixed line or a purely automated line, they can fit right in with ease. Their endlessly adaptable cobot grippers allow for easy adaptation to new tasks.
Drag teaching & graphic programming
No matter the application, be it palletizing or picking, tending or sanding, the cobots can be programmed simply by dragging them physically between operating positions, and having the cobot memorize the steps with the help of a graphical interface. Even someone with no technical experience can configure and adapt tasks and applications.
All JAKA cobots can be used right out of the box. Their native systems mean that no matter where they are mounted, once the power is on, they’re ready to be programmed and start completing tasks.
Despite the high level of useability, if a manufacturer is concerned about potential errors, we recommend consulting with a professional cobot integrator during the initial installation. Cobot integrators may be found through the JAKA network or externally; their purpose is simply to guide new users through the process of installation and programming. After being shown once, users will feel confident doing it for themselves.
The Highest Ingress Protection
Many manufacturing facilities feature challenging environments, or processes that produce potential environmental hazards. There is often the risk of encountering dust, oil, water, and metal, wood, glass or plastic shavings. It’s therefore vital that all robots have a high rating of ingress protection (IP).
The JAKA Pro series have IP68 grade protection, meaning complete immunity from small particles and liquids. They can operate in a desert or a rainforest, metal cutting or CNC machine tending, 24/7, without supervision.
Force Sensors and Force Control Modules
For manufacturers looking to automate polishing, sanding or testing, force sensors are essential.
They’re also hugely beneficial in welding, assembly and the gripping of delicate objects or materials. JAKA force sensors can be installed at the end or base of the cobots, and work together with a force control module to regulate contact force dynamically.
Three control modes are available: constant force, normal tracking and speed mode. Not only do these ensure that materials aren’t damaged, and are processed consistently, they also work in tandem with safety features to ensure humans working alongside the cobots are protected.
Torque-feedback Collision Detection
Additional to force sensor safety mechanisms, all JAKA collaborative robots feature torque-feedback enabled collision detection. This means that the moment an unexpected force acts upon the cobot arm, it ceases operation.
The threshold for the strength at which forces are deemed to be unexpected can be adjusted according to user needs. Thanks to this, unlike traditional robots, there is no need for safety fences when operating around JAKA cobots.
Anyone who aspires to true factory automation will dream of robots that not only exceed the manual capabilities of humans, but robots that can also see like humans. With the JAKA lens 2D, cobots are given the gift of sight.
Combined with advanced AI, and a specialized light source module, the cobots are capable of identifying colors, shapes, distances and locations, then making autonomous decisions based on what is seen.
Their self-learning algorithms, paired with simple programming, enables them to complete operations such as vision picking, inspection, testing, monitoring and more with a high degree of accuracy. This represents a huge step forward for production scenarios where the ability to see is necessary.
In line with true industry 4.0 methodology, JAKA cobots have the capability to be networked. Thanks to a wireless connection, tasks can be monitored via the web from anywhere in the world, meaning that the need for physical trips to production facilities is greatly reduced.
Not only that, but if something goes wrong, alerts can be raised immediately, making sure operators can be dispatched in plenty of time.
The days of complex teaching pendants are over. JAKA cobots feature a graphical programming interface that can be installed on tablets, phones and PCs. It connects to the cobot wirelessly, and together with drag teaching, allows users to easily set and adjust tasks, no matter their level of prior experience.
Operators simply drag the cobot to desired positions, and set functions in the programming interface, or choose from the vast array of in-built commands, and the cobot is ready to go in just minutes. Adjustments can be made quickly by connecting any device.
Automation of Tons of Tasks in Over 30 Industries
The world is now realizing how versatile collaborative robots can be. At the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, athletes marveled at how their coffee, cocktails and food could be prepared by robots. And what kind of robots were these? Cobots.
The truth is, these applications were only a glimpse of what JAKA cobots are capable of. The most popular applications are still in manufacturing – machine tending, palletizing, packaging, pick and place, screw driving and assembly. But precision tasks such as polishing and washing are, too, a cinch.
Whether an industry is listed on the JAKA website or not, our experts are happy to come up with new solutions for the automation of any physical task.
There are of course more considerations to make, before investing in collaborative robots. The features outlined above – drag teaching, easy programming, force sensors, plug-and-play, high IP, safety fence-free operations and more, certainly contribute to a fast ROI.
And the range of JAKA cobots on offer does provide investment and application options – they range in payload from 3kg to 18kg, and in reach from 626mm to 1713mm. But on top of this, JAKA is continuing its development of robotics technologies, meaning that more and more will become possible as time goes on.
The key aims here are flexibility and adaptability: the features outlined above enable our experts, in collaboration with our customers, in collaboration with our cobots, to find new solutions to automation needs.