Selecting Parts for Collaborative Robots

By Chris Johnson, Handling Director, SMB Bearings

Behind the drawn factory doors of facilities across Europe, human beings are working safely along with a new kind of associate; one that is stronger, much faster and more efficient than ever before: collective robots. This short article discusses how to pick the right bearing for this new automation application.

Just a few years earlier, collaborative robotics were extensively considered a novelty, however the technology has actually rapidly grown to be among the most considerable patterns in robotics. In truth, an ABI Research research study forecasts that industry will be populated with more than 40,000 collective robots by 2020.

Instead of standard industrial robotics, which are confined to operate in work cells to safeguard human employees, collective robotics can run– as the name suggests– collaboratively with their human equivalents. They are designed to operate safely alongside individuals, by restricting the robots force and implementing sensors that avoid the robot hitting a human or other devices.

The machines are used to carry out recurring roles such as assembly and handling, taking these menial tasks far from human beings to free them up for more complex tasks. As they are developed to handle these standard operations, collective robotics tend to be much easier than other industrial robotics, making them more affordable to buy, much easier to run and less hassle to maintain.

Keeping Precision

Regardless of the simplification of their style, the requirements of bearings for collective robotics is just as crucial a consideration as those of more complex robots, like six-axis or SCARA models. Industrial robotics are required to deliver high levels of accuracy and repeatability and collaborative robotics are no exception.

Consider the rotary joints of a collaborative robotic as an example. Manufacturers expect the robot to provide smooth actions, with good rotational accuracy and dependability. Nevertheless, in robotics applications, there is more to selecting a bearing than simply picking one that fits.

To ensure the high levels of rotational precision and dependability needed for the operations of a collaborative robot, makers should purchase high quality, precision bearings for the robot’s rotary joints.

Alternatively, a poor-quality bearing can lead to unexpected downtime brought on by incorrect motion or greater frictional torque creating issues with the robot’s operation. For collaborative robots, any errors can also create considerable health and security threats for human employees.

Taking advantage of Investments

Naturally, producers investing in collaborative robots are doing so to increase productivity, output and– possibly most significantly– increase revenues in their center. Not all makers are conscious that inaccurate bearings can directly impact the functionality and the longevity of a collaborative robotic’s life-span.

Similar to any sort of industrial robotic, there is no standard bearing that will fit every collaborative robotic application. The correct bearing would depend upon the environment where the robot will work and its operations. Makers should speak with a bearing expert for advice on selecting the best bearing spec.

In 2016, collective robots represented simply three per cent of all commercial robots sold. Quotes recommend that collaborative robots will account for 34 per cent of all commercial robots sold by 2025. There has actually never been a much better time to invest in collective robotics.