Industrial robots are no longer a novelty in this world. In fact, the first industrial robot was born in 1937.
Although they are commonly called cranes or robot arms, some of these devices are operated by buttons and levers, which allow tasks to be performed with greater precision.
Over time, companies have gradually integrated robotic technology to replace human labor while reducing costs and maximizing profits.
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What Are Industrial Robots? 🤔
They are multifunctional machines, capable of moving materials, parts, and objects. In addition, most of them are programmable with the intention of working automatically. So, people don’t have to be constantly intervening for these machines to work.
Robotic technologies are now being developed that improve the functionality of these robots, thus promoting their use in different fields.
Characteristics of Industrial Robots 🤖
The first thing that we consider important to mention is the similarity that exists in the physical appearance of industrial robots with the anatomy of the human being with emphasis on the upper extremities.
This is true even when mentioning the parts of the robots. For example, an industrial robot has: elbows, wrists, arms, shoulders, waist, etc…
We will then mention the most common characteristics of industrial robots, taking into account that there are other aspects that differ in them depending on the needs for which they were created individually.
The Degree of Freedom
It is important to know the orientation and position status of each robot. To do this, it is important to have independent coordinates.
The axes and their links have a certain degree of freedom from the other axes. These have translation and rotation movements.
Here we are talking about the space in which the robot must work, the maximum distance in which it can work most effectively must be displayed.
At this point we consider the amount of weight in kilograms that a robot is capable of moving in which the weight of the claw must be included.
Electronic actuators transform mechanical energy from hydraulic, electrical or pneumatic energy. It is the control systems, gearboxes, drive and transmission that make it possible for the actuators to work.
With the robot loaded, the speed is measured in cycles per minute (how many times it is capable of doing the job in one minute). Not forgetting the moments of inertia, which is when there is normal body resistance when there is rotation and logically there is a change in speed.
When a robot is in motion, depending on the weight of the load, it will be limited in speed by the turns. The industrial spider robot is said to be one of the fastest.
At this point we talk about the capacity given to industrial robots to be programmable in their various languages, in order to obtain the maximum benefit from their functions.
Types of Industrial Robots 🔨
Industrial robots today can be seen in different sizes and designs, some of them are
Handling robots are usually the most common in factories because of their low cost and for having a basic control system.
They can do multiple, simple, repetitive tasks. They are subdivided into three types; manually, fixed sequence and variable sequence.
As the name implies, repeating robots are intended to repeat a task, movement or sequence of movements that have been previously programmed by a human being.
They are the industrial robots most recognized by society in general.
They are robots programmed and controlled by a PC or computer. The human programmer can write and rewrite the code in a specific computer program to give new commands or work sequences to the robot in question.
This type of robot offers many advantages, but requires highly skilled workers who are able to operate them properly.
Intelligent Robots 🤓
The latest in technology, intelligent robots can relate to their environment thanks to sensors and applications in real time. In addition to moving and performing tasks on their own.
Although you might think that they are in the experimental phase, many are already sold in bulk. For example, the famous industrial vacuum cleaner robot, which is already sold by the tens of thousands worldwide.
Finally, we have the micro-bots or nanorobots. Although still in the research phase, they promise to be the future of medicine and heavy industry.
Other Industrial Robots
Industrial robots can also be divided according to their internal structure and external movements. The most known and used are the following:
These have a vertical column which rotates on its base. It has sliding devices (2) which generate movement on its Y, Z axes.
The industries use it for assembly, manipulation of machines, tools, spot welding, and handling in die-casting machines.
These robots are 4 degrees of freedom in a horizontal position. They are known for their very fast cycle times, excellent repeatability, and a wide range of application.
They have a rigid arm in the Z-axis, but are flexible in the X- and Y-axis, allowing them to adapt perfectly to the gaps in these axes.
It is so called because its three main control axes are linear, that is, they move in a straight line instead of rotating. Normally used in limited work spaces, it is applied in numerical control machines.
These robots have several joints, two are rotational and one is linear. To move at its first two joints, use joint interpolation, and for extension and retraction, use linear interpolation.
The ability to move the arm in a spherical area is given to the robot by the joints.
With joints that can give you angular and rotational movement, the arm can perform a movement that is known as linear interpolation.
It has closed kinematic chains where the mobile platform is connected to the base by means of several of these independent serial kinematic chains, which are classified according to their degree of freedom.
Parts of an Industrial Robot 🔩
We will now briefly explain the three most common parts of industrial robots. Without these divisions, robot arms cannot function on their own.
These correspond to the parts that cannot be moved in an industrial robot.
It is the union of two mechanical elements and they are parts that can be moved in industrial robots. These joints are in charge of moving the links.
This is the name given to the set of joints and links of the robots and the function is the transmission of movement between one place and another.
Industrial Robots Examples
For an industrial robot to be implemented in the fields of action, a previous study is made to examine things like the advantages and disadvantages it can provide at a certain time.
There are several industrial applications where these robots are used, the main ones being the following:
- In foundry works: As its name indicates it refers to the casting of moulds and their transportation to a cooling, maintenance and cleaning site, as well as the placement of pieces in the moulds.
- In welding works: Especially in the automobile industry, for the welding of car bodies.
- Application of materials: For the finishing of surfaces, e.g. paint, enamel, etc.
- In the application of adhesives and sealants: They are also used by the automotive industries like others, but the most frequent use is for sealing windows and windscreens, for example.
- In machine feeding: Especially in the metal industries where they use presses.
- In cutting: Used to cut materials using various methods such as: laser, plasma, water jet, oxyfuel, etc…
- In assembly operations: Due to their precision and speed, they are used in the assembly of very small parts.