Industry 4.0

Collaborative robot side by side with human

The development of industrial robotics has made automation of enterprises more accessible and comprehensive. At the same time, the trend of increasing demand for small-scale and exclusive products encourages enterprises to be flexible and ready for rapid changes. The course of customization requires high qualification not only from the staff, but, paradoxically, from robots. Reprogramming industrial robots and moving them from one cell to another should be as fast as possible. In modern world, the restructuring of production processes can take place in the conditions of shortage of working space, and industrial robot, as you know, requires a special fence to eliminate the risk of injury to workers. The best alternative solution here may be the use of collaborative robots.
13 september 2019

Collaborative robot is an evolutionary branch of an industrial robot. He is able to work together with a human without any risk for him. Thanks to more advanced software, collaborative robot learns quickly and adapts to changes in the production cycle. Of course, unlike the classic industrial robot, this robot has a lower load capacity and speed, but, as a rule, in small – scale production, the speed is not decisive, and the increase in load capacity is only a matter of time. Manager to work with the target sectors – General engineering LLC "OMRON electronics" Yaroslava Chekalinskaya told to Intelligent Manufacturing Journal about the new collaborative robot OMRON TM, which is designed to automate repetitive production tasks.

Everything is easy: Plug and Play

OMRON TM — collaborative robot that works side by side with human and helps him to perform hard, unhealthy or uninteresting, routine tasks. These are, for example, the acceptance/supply of heavy objects, continuous monotonous work-posting, painting, marking, drilling, grinding, as well as operations related to diagnosis, quality control, loading or unloading of machines, soldering, warehousing of finished products, packaging. As a result of more dense collaboration of robot and human production becomes more flexible, the quality of products increases. Collaborative robot OMRON TM differs from classical industrial robots user-friendly software tools and integrated touch functions that determine the current location of the device and synchronized with storage systems. Collaborative robot programming can be carried out using the application programming interface Plug and Play which makes it possible to use the robot immediately after its delivery and unpacking without the participation of professional programmers, without the involvement of representatives of the system integrator. Due to "manual" training, collaborative robot is introduced into the production process during 1.5 hours usually.

The OMRON collaborative robot can also have a complete set in one custom code. In standard industrial robots, errors can often be made in the formation of specifications from a large range of components.

Advantages of such machines allow to reduce downtime during changeover or launch of a new line, as well as significantly reduce the cost of collaboration implementing. The price of any collaborative robot is lower than the cost of an industrial robot and averages about 20 – 30 thousand dollars in the market. In this regard, OMRON TM is not an exception; its return on investment with proper operation of the collaborative robot is possible for a period of 6 to 12 months.

The new stage of human-machine interaction

The maximum load capacity of OMRON TM is 14 kilograms. Thanks to this, our collaborative robot improves the efficiency of the human team in the field of production and logistics. This kind of collaboration between people and machines brings innovation to the factory floor. Today, the range of applications of collaborative robots is quite wide, but due to the demands of modern industry for maximum efficiency of production processes OMRON TM become an integral part of intra-shop logistics, which includes the optimization of integrated movement of materials and goods, as well as information flow management.

During polishing complex surfaces that require certain efforts, or high-accuracy assembly of printed circuit boards, the mode of operation of the collaborative robot is built with the help of an optional force sensor. Robots OMRON TM support the personnel in all assembly processes. They can apply adhesive and insulation with simultaneous quality control.

Collaborative robots are widely used in a number of industries, including the automotive industry, microelectronics, light and food industries, in the production of cosmetics and souvenirs. And the list of their "working specialties" is constantly expanding. Now the collaborators prepare coffee and sandwiches and serve the table. Thanks to modern developments in the field of unmanned vehicles and IIoT, robots have gained mobility. Relatively low weight allows a new generation of OMRON TM easily integrates with mobile robots LD Omron and to create a multi-functional Autonomous platform – elements of innovative logistics solutions. Such mobile collaborative robot-manipulators could bring and unload components and semi-finished products for assembly stations independently. As well as finished products for placement in a warehouse or at quality control stations. Gradually, collaborative robot will become a natural and important part of a flexible and constantly developing production environment.

Vision systems and advanced mathematical control algorithms give collaborative robots additional features

The OMRON TM collaborative robot is equipped with a camera with an intelligent vision system, thanks to which the robot can not only detect objects and navigate in space, but also read barcodes, recognize colors, texts, carry out various measurements and inspection functions, as well as transmit the information received to the upper level of the enterprise. An additional camera can also be connected to the OMRON TM controller for particularly complex inspection tasks.

OMRON TM collaborative robots are easily integrated into numerous projects and are able to perform several tasks at once. This can be achieved by including stickers, landmarks TM, which are detected by camera collaborative robot and are a kind of reference point. The sticker is placed anywhere in the workspace. Well, then collaborative robot begins his self-study and remembers all the points relative to a given landmark.

OMRON TM vision system can be built including on the basis of neural networks, which gives the ability to crab, close to limitless. In this case collaborative robot is operated with a flick of the hand literally. A perfect example of such collaborative robot is an interactive robot Forpheus OMRON that is designed for playing table tennis. Forpheus is real embodiment of the integration of artificial intelligence with collaborative robots demonstrating a new level of human interaction with the machine. During a table tennis session, collaborative robot identifies balls in three-dimensional space identical to the human eye, assesses the skill level of his opponent, and his high-speed robotic arm moves in response to the AI controller, which predicts the opponent's actions.

OMRON is not only collaborative robots, but also captures the collaborative compliant standards-ISO/TS 15066. Despite the advantages that robots bring to production, many tasks in the foreseeable future will still be performed with the participation of a person with his cognitive abilities. Collaborative robots could not displace people, they are complementary to its potential, allow to avoid mistakes and fulfill tasks better and faster. The essence of digital transformation is to make enterprises more competitive, as well as to help free people from routine and give an additional opportunity to realize creative and intellectual abilities. The human factor is an important part of modern production processes, it cannot be ignored. Therefore, OMRON enables Russian companies to increase the potential of their employees, including through joint interaction with collaborative robots.