Continuous learning and development with robots
For Tasowheel, it is of high importance to stay in the technological forefront, and thus make different production phases as effective as possible. Hence, a few years ago, we decided to take automation into a new level, and along with all investments on new machines we started to invest more in robots. Until this day, we have acquired robots of different kinds and continue to learn with and about them.
Prior to robots, different machine integrated workpiece loaders were acquired to Tasowheel to increase the performance of the production. However, the automation back then was limited, as the loader could only handle a certain number of workpieces at a time without a human’s interference. Nowadays, thanks to robots, the number has multiplied. A robot is usually cheaper to acquire than a workpiece loader, and thus, decreases expenses both directly and indirectly, as it is able to work longer and even through the night.
At Tasowheel, we utilize a variety of robots. First, co-operation robots, or ‘co-bots’, are robots with the most enhanced automation and technical abilities, and they can do very precise work, compatible to a human’s handwork. Due to their high level of safety, it is possible for us to work together with them, as they react and stop moving from the lightest touch. They also require only a small safety space around them and are easy to move around when needed. The second kind of robot requires a bigger space to operate in and has a virtual safety zone around it. Thus, its safety scanners recognize if someone or something enters too close, and it stops functioning immediately. The third robot-type is integrated to a machine and has a physical safety zone that completely obstructs the pass to the robot. Hence, they require a broad area to operate and are difficult, if not impossible, to relocate.
The common advantage of the different robots is the labor force they are able to provide. Currently, an urgent problem in the labor market is the availability of free workers with sufficient skills. Thus, robots can offer a solution. In fact, robots can be extremely helpful in repetitive work tasks as, for example, handling workpieces, washing, and packaging. As a result, they are able to release labor force to complete other, more demanding tasks. However, a shared concern regarding robots and their extensive use is whether they will permanently replace human labor. In fact, the robots rather add up to the need for human-work for several reasons. For instance, they require quite a lot of programming during their lifetime, which is only possible for humans. Even though robots are becoming smarter and smarter, robots’ skills are not equivalent to human skills and thinking, and probably never will.
To conclude, robots come with several advantages. The presence of various robots at Tasowheel is still relatively short and the process of acquiring knowledge about these machines and effectively engaging with them remains an ongoing process.