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Robots can help to keep people safe in the workplace

Author : Barry Weller, Mitsubishi Electric

02 June 2021

Over the course of the last year, robots have helped manufacturers to protect human operators by achieving social distancing, whilst maintaining high throughput in the manufacturing process. However, robots and automated applications can do much more to create a highly efficient industrial environment where the health, safety and wellbeing of employees are prioritised.

Barry Weller, Robot Product Manager at Mitsubishi Electric, looks at how robots can improve safety in the workplace. 

If we look at how companies use operators to tend a process such as cutting, pressing, bending and inserting parts, it is usually achieved with a number of automated workstations. Companies are now looking at how these systems can be used and reconfigured as part of an automated production environment. These modifications not only help to protect the employees, but also increase efficiency and improve the quality of the process and products manufactured.

Robots are ideal for these workstations because they can be easily deployed and used to change the way an operator tends machines. It is often possible to reuse existing machinery – saving cost – as it can simply be reconfigured to incorporate robots. With the use of simple feeding systems and robots that load and unload parts from one machine to another, what was once a series of standalone workstations can be transformed into an efficient and lean continuous production process. 

Read the full article in the June issue of DPA

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