Let’s face it, with the accessibility of robotic automation, and the unreliable and unpredictable workforce nowadays, it doesn’t make sense not to automate your process. The robotics landscape has seen significant change in recent years with the welcome arrival of collaborative robots (cobots), allowing for flexible, mobile and modular possibilities. By investing in cobot integration, factories can spend less money automating a system and earn quick returns by eliminating unnecessary downtime.
Robot integration for a long time was very expensive, and understandably so. A team of experienced engineers was needed to correctly integrate robots into a facility and bring complex automation equipment together safely. Often times, there were bugs and issues that had to be bandaged later in the process because it was too complex or time consuming to reprogram the robot cell from scratch. Downtime was lengthy when issues arose and required integrators to schedule a visit many weeks out from when the initial problem was recognized.
This often resulted in endless delays and a finished product that often fell short of specifications. Unfortunately for the customer, this left them with no other choice but to accept a system out of necessity to get production back up and running.
Fortunately, robot and automation technology has since seen major improvements. During the last few years the automation industry has shifted its focus towards correcting the problems many companies face when trying to integrate robots into their facilities. Robot costs have decreased significantly, and with the successful introduction of cobots in the last few years, the cost to automate has been reduced even further. Not to mention, the ease of use has been dramatically improved.
Most of the big robot players have made it a critical task to improve the usability of their robots, with the goal to eliminate the need for an expert to program it. Integrators alone can now program, troubleshoot, reprogram, and make corrections significantly faster and thus eliminate unwarranted costs associated with robots. More importantly, this new method of cobot integration can reduce downtime so customers can keep production running.
Now, robotics integrator Allied Technology has taken the next step forward, once more reducing unnecessary costs associated with integrating robots. During his 30 years designing and building custom machinery, Allied Technology’s Mike Halley had a vision to create flexible, modular robot cells that can easily be implemented and redeployed when necessary.
“Throughout my career, I worked on many automation systems that handled an entire process with one large, dedicated machine set to run at maximum speed. This was great when everything was running perfectly, but when a problem came up, the whole system had to shut down until it was repaired,” Halley explains.
“By focusing on multiple smaller robot modules as part of a fully integrated system, you only sacrifice 10 to 20 percent of production, instead of having to shut down the entire line.”
For nearly a decade, Halley and his team of engineers have worked closely together to make this a reality.
Since collaborative robots first entered the U.S. market, Allied Technology has been researching and developing innovative solutions and, finally, has an answer to recurring requests for the modern automation landscape.
They are offering a variety of robot “cells” that require minimal modifications to suit any specific application. Their in-house machining and prototyping affords them the ability to make the exact adjustments to a given project quickly and of high quality, while eliminating the extraneous costs and time of outsourcing these processes.
Allied’s robot programming is very straightforward and robust so that making alterations can be as simple as re-teaching waypoints, which are possible for operators and managers to complete if necessary. Their cobot and automation solutions are designed to be modular, scalable, flexible and easily redeployed for future needs. This means any system purchased now, can be reused as products and production lines change.
An assortment of products and integration services are available from their new Cobot Store and Solutions page. Customers can choose from a variety of different robots, grippers, stands, fixtures, and other automation equipment, so they can get started integrating their own robot cell. If customers need help with any complicated portions of an integration process, they are encouraged to purchase blocks of integration hours from Allied Technology’s team of engineering experts.