As it looks now, manufacturing will continue to be an integral part of the future. In the same breath, so will assembly robots. China is intent on replacing human beings in some factories and already has some human free factories.
All industries are now experiencing the disruption of technological advancements. Technology has permeated into the realm of robots and they seem to be acclimatizing well as opposed to the many human run ventures and industries that are afraid technology will kill their source of livelihood.
From these, one can easily foretell, that the future of manufacturing lies with robots.
Listed are some ways that the future assembly robots will affect manufacturing.
Robot run assembly lines
In the next five years, this will no longer be an experiment, rather it will be the reality of the day. Assembly lines that will still be run by human employees will be the exception and not the norm. Assembly robots will increase their capabilities and as a result will be in charge of the whole production process.
Human employees will be need in the factory only to monitor the robots and to ensure that products are sold.
Ease of robot availability
As the demand for robots increases, there will be more studies into the industry and more manufacturers of robots. As a result their prices may go down as supply increases although there will always be sustained as manufacturing grows more important to meet the demands of an ever increasing population.
First their prices will drop. Automation is an expensive endeavor for any manufacturing entity. In the future, as more manufacturers of robots enter the market, their prices will reduce substantially. As a result, there will be more manufactures willing and eager to acquire assembly robots and automate their production processes.
For those who will not want to buy their own robots, it will be very easy for them to lease or rent robots for use. Small manufacturing entities can lease robots and pay for them by the hour. This will enable them to produce more and faster and thus will be more competitive within their industries.
At present, most assembly line robots can handle a weight load of up to 10kgs. In the future, these robots will handle much larger payloads. As a result, the robots will have the capability to perform more demanding and carry much heavier loads that they can at the moment. This could lead to increased productivity as they will be able to handle larger material capacities.
Lights out factories
Lights out factories are factories that will never have their lights switched on. This is because robots do not require light to see what they are doing. These are the factories of the future as already envisioned by several companies and countries. In these factories, robots will collaborate with other robots in the production process to run the entire factory.
Even though they will be lights out factories, they will still require lots of energy since the robots will run continuously with no need for breaks. As a result, there will be increased production of goods and higher levels of human employment to perform robot monitoring tasks and selling the products produced.
It will be much easier to communicate and monitor the robots
Robots provide feedback to their operators in real time through an interface. In the future, it will be much easier to communicate and monitor the robots remotely through the growing field of the Internet of Things. (IoT)
Through IoT, these lights out factories of collaborating robots will be programmed and monitored from remote locations. Through the internet, the robots will provide feedback to their programmers located in other buildings when they need any human intervention which will then be done through the internet too.
With IoT, the collaborating robots will also be able to communicate between themselves. This will make production even more efficient and easier for the manufacturing companies.