Robotics have been used within the automotive industry for years now. It took a long time to introduce them into the sector, but they’ve really gone on to revolutionise the industry.
Stemming back to World War II, here we’ll look at the role of robotics in the automotive industry and where it all started.
How did it start?
Although the concept of robots has been around since Leonardo’s time, it wasn’t until World War II that automation really got going in the industrial industry. Automakers in the US were under a lot of pressure to meet high quotas. They needed to find a way to drastically improve output in order to keep up with demand.
Initially, robotics was used to carry out fairly basic tasks such as placing and picking items. It was in the 1970’s that industrial robots were introduced into the sector. From there, robotics saw a 30% growth year upon year.
After a brief dip in the 1990’s, robotics now plays a major role in the automotive industry. They are much more sophisticated than they used to be and a lot of them are now semi-autonomous.
How are robotics used in the automotive industry?
While robotics were once used simply to pick and place auto parts, these days they have far more uses in the sector.
Robotic arms have now been developed with eyes, to enable more precise assembly. The arms have been fitted with lasers and cameras, enabling them to see exactly where specific parts should be installed. Ford uses this technology to help fit door panels, fenders and windshields precisely.
Robotics which can interact with one another are also used in the sector. The Great Wall Motors plant in China, utilises handling and welding robots which collaborate together. For example, one robot places a panel, while the other robot welds the panel. This collaborative robotic line is able to perform over 4000 welding operations in just over a minute.
These are just a couple of ways robotics are used in the automotive industry today.
What benefits do robotics provide in the sector?
There are a lot of benefits that come from using robotics within the automotive industry. Although they do require advanced power supplies, the benefits they deliver are outstanding.
The main benefit this technology delivers is faster, more accurate manufacturing. Robots never get tired and they work at an unbeatable rate. This really eases the pressure workers are under. They improve productivity, make life easier for workers and they boost consistency.
Overall, robotics are widely used within the automotive industry today. The technology is consistently developing, enabling companies to produce faster, more accurate results. It will be exciting to see what developments are made over the next decade.