Robots Continue to Rise

May 26, 2013

The growth of industrial robots began in the automotive industry and spread like wild fire since then. Industrial robots can tackle practically any application and bring a higher throughput and precision than manual completion.


Indus­tri­al robots began appear­ing in the ear­ly 1970’s when com­pa­nies like KUKA Robot­ics intro­duced the first sim­ple indus­tri­al robots. Robot devel­op­ment has accel­er­at­ed rapid­ly ever since, with appli­ca­tions expand­ing from basic grind­ing and pol­ish­ing to high­ly pre­cise weld­ing, pal­letiz­ing, and autonomous indus­tri­al indus­tri­al bin-pick­ing. The expo­nen­tial growth of indus­tri­al robots began in the auto­mo­tive indus­try and has expand­ed to many types of man­u­fac­tur­ing appli­ca­tions. The increased use of robots has been dri­ven by the fact that robots are able to turn any size man­u­fac­tur­er or busi­ness into a prof­itable glob­al com­peti­tor by cut­ting labor costs and boost­ing pro­duc­tion effi­cien­cy, all with­out sac­ri­fic­ing quality.

Robots are now in wide­spread use in the Unit­ed States, from large auto­mo­tive assem­bly line robots to effi­cient groups of pal­letiz­ing robots in small machine shops. The Robot­ics Indus­try Asso­ci­a­tion (RIA) report­ed sales of 25,500 robots in 2012 for a total of $1.66 bil­lion dol­lars. That rep­re­sents a 17% increase in robot sales from the pre­vi­ous year (27% more dol­lars). These increas­ing sales num­bers indi­cate enor­mous growth poten­tial in the future of robots, espe­cial­ly since the RIA esti­mates that only 10% of busi­ness­es that could ben­e­fit from using robots are cur­rent­ly using them. This makes the 225,000 robots cur­rent­ly in ser­vice in the U.S. only the tip of the ice­berg. Robots will con­tin­ue to be on the rise as the com­pet­i­tive glob­al mar­ket dri­ves the remain­ing 90% of com­pa­nies to use robots to increase effi­cien­cy while main­tain­ing or improv­ing qual­i­ty. This increase of indus­tri­al robots in the Unit­ed States is also fueled by the recent trend of com­pa­nies return­ing their oper­a­tions back to the U.S. from over­seas. Logis­tics sim­pli­fi­ca­tion and bet­ter polit­i­cal con­di­tions are bring­ing com­pa­nies back, but the high­er cost of labor in the Unit­ed States is push­ing more and more com­pa­nies to auto­mate. Anoth­er major fac­tor in the increased use of robots is the recov­ery of the auto­mo­tive indus­try. How­ev­er, emerg­ing appli­ca­tions for robots, like pal­letiz­ing and auto­mat­ed bin-pick­ing, apply to near­ly all busi­ness­es and will have robots on the rise in 2013 and beyond. New capa­bil­i­ties are expand­ing the use of robots to dif­fer­ent types of busi­ness­es like the food and con­sumer goods sec­tor where Robot​ics​.org notes that orders jumped 31% in the first quar­ter of 2012.” This is just one of the many new busi­ness sec­tors that is begin­ning real­ize the poten­tial of robots.

Spe­cif­ic robot mod­els that exem­pli­fy the more advanced and effi­cient future of robots are the Motoman VA1400 weld­ing robot, the Fanuc M‑1iA spi­der robot” and the KUKA HA (“High Accu­ra­cy”) robot. The Motoman VA1400 is a high­ly advanced weld­ing robot that stands alone in the indus­try with its sev­en-axis mobil­i­ty. Oth­er weld­ing robots only maneu­ver on six axes, but the Motoman VA1400’s elbow-like sev­enth axis allows it to work in more com­pact areas on com­plex appli­ca­tions. This is valu­able on prod­ucts that require the robot to weld hard-to-reach areas. This increased mobil­i­ty allows high qual­i­ty weld­ing to be done by few­er robots, tak­ing up less space. The Fanuc Robot­ics M‑1iA is a great exam­ple of a unique, mul­ti-limbed spi­der robot” that can be used to effi­cient­ly per­form pick-and-place oper­a­tions. The Fanuc M‑1iA’s dis­tinc­tive build allows it to have a great deal of dex­ter­i­ty to del­i­cate­ly han­dle a large num­ber of dif­fer­ent prod­ucts with impres­sive speed and .2mm repeata­bil­i­ty. The M‑1iA is just one of Fanuc’s line of spi­der robots” which have a range of sizes, mount­ing options, pay­loads, and poten­tial appli­ca­tions to suit each unique cus­tomer. KUKA Robot­ics has devel­oped the KUKA HA (High Accu­ra­cy) series of robots that have indus­try-lead­ing .1mm repeata­bil­i­ty. Due to high­ly advanced gear­ing and ser­vo tech­nol­o­gy the KUKA HA series is able to main­tain its impres­sive accu­ra­cy and repeata­bil­i­ty and still have a high pay­load capac­i­ty. With the pay­load and flex­i­bil­i­ty to have dozens of appli­ca­tions and the advanced tech­nol­o­gy to per­form each of them so accu­rate­ly that qual­i­ty is nev­er com­pro­mised, the KUKA HA series is the total package.

The future of indus­tri­al robots is cer­tain­ly bright. With the com­bi­na­tion of tremen­dous growth poten­tial and ever-advanc­ing tech­nol­o­gy mak­ing robots more effi­cient, effec­tive, and eco­nom­i­cal robots will con­tin­ue to be on the rise. For more infor­ma­tion, con­tact Robots​.com online or at 8777626881.

Let's talk!

Request your quick quote today.