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Choosing the right cobot for your process: 10 top tips

02 June 2023

When the International Federation of Robots (IFR) first started collating collaborative robot data in 2017, this new breed of robot had a market share of just 2.8 percent. The IFR’s latest report showed that that figure had leapt to 7.5 percent by 2021, with the number of newly deployed cobots growing by 50 percent year-on-year.

There are several reasons for this. First, cobots provide a solution to challenges faced by manufacturers in this ‘new normal’ era. In terms of flexibility, the cobot sits midway between an industrial robot and a human. This is valuable for accommodating the shorter product life cycles and vast numbers of SKUs that are typical of the increasingly common HMLV (high-mix, low-volume) approach. Cobots can also help to counteract labour shortages by freeing up human workers to carry out more valuable tasks.

The number of market players has also proliferated, and there are now over 60 cobot manufacturers worldwide. Whilst more competition can mean greater choice and better value, it can also mean more confusion. This is particularly salient when you consider that cobot sales in the UK are being driven by SMEs, who seldom have the in-house resources and expertise thoroughly to assess numerous different makes and models.

To aid the decision-making process, FANUC has compiled a checklist to use, helping first-time buyers to navigate the complexities and avoid costly pitfalls…

Read the full article in DPA's June issue

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