To this day, the car manufacturing industry has been one of the fastest and primary adopters of industrial robot technology. The automobile manufacturing sector remains the most highly automated supply chains in the world. This is because; robots are used in nearly every part of the automotive industry.
There are different types of industrial robots, such as; Cartesian, Cylindrical, SCARA, Delta, and Polar. These robots can be applied to perform various tasks, and, in this article, we will look at some of the vital robot applications in automobile manufacturing.
Robots are usually fitted with laser and camera vision, which relays instant feedback to the robot. An industrial robot arm with ‘eyes’ is better positioned to perform more work with precision due to its ability to see what it is doing.
Tasks such as the installation of door boards, guards, windshields, and the offsetting when installing a part can be performed more accurately with robotic vision as opposed to regular robot arms.
Assembly includes tasks such as windshield installation, screw driving, and wheel mounting. In car manufacturing plants, all these tasks are best performed by robotic arms. Robots such as the high-speed Delta machines are usually used for assembling minor apparatuses in the locomotive part plants, such as motors and pumps.
Spot and Arc Welding
Spot welding on heavy body panels is usually handled by giant industrial robots with elongated arms and advanced payload abilities. The smaller robots are left to weld the lighter parts such as brackets and mounts.
High standards of welding can be maintained in every production due to the repeatable arc and speed gap which are achieved with precision since the robotic tungsten inert gas and the metal static gas welders can place the flashlight in the same exact alignment on every cycle.
For the welding robot to perform all the programmed welds, the robot handlers need to position panels at proper places. There must be a collaboration between the handlers and the robotic welders so as to keep the assembly line moving.
In massive assembly lines, collaborative robots usually work together with the other large industrial robots.
Part Transfer and Machine Tending
Tasks such as loading and unloading CNC machines, pouring molten metal into a foundry, and transferring metal stamps can be hazardous to the human workers. Large industrial robots can do these types of work, while tasks such as loading and unloading, and machine tending in smaller industrial processes can be performed by smaller robots.
Sealing, Coating, and Painting
Due to the toxic nature of painting an automobile, there has been a labor shortage making it hard to find skilled painters.
Since robots are usually programmed to follow a specific process, they can be used to fill in the gap. With robots, you can be assured of consistency and limited waste. Robots can also be used for spraying sealants, primers, and adhesives.
Below are some of the reasons why manufacturers are turning to robots in the automotive industry.
Since robots never get weary, every cycle is performed the same way leading to reduced part-to-part variability. Risks of damage and wastage that were previously caused by human error are reduced as robots cannot drop or mishandle parts.
With fewer mistakes and low warranty costs, customer satisfaction is vastly improved as robots are fitted with vision systems that can detect incoming material variations, and rectify them according to their programmed paths.
As discussed above, most jobs in the automotive manufacturing industry are hazardous. Incorporating robots to perform these dangerous tasks ensures workers’ safety. For example, robots can be used to prevent workers from being exposed to toxic fumes, especially during painting and welding in car assembly.
Automation has played a significant role in revolutionizing the automotive manufacturing industry. With so many tasks that robots can perform, accuracy, speed, and high-quality cars with low-cost warranty can be guaranteed.
The car manufacturing workplace has also been made safe for the human workers through the incorporation of robots in the workplace.