Industrial Robots and Manufacturing Automation

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Industrial Robots and Manufacturing Automation Abstract Automation started out as an assembly line of workers doing the same repetitive task all day long. Some of the jobs were very boring, dirty, unpleasant, and possibly dangerous. After the introduction of the first robot in 1961, automation began to advance in ways people could only imagine. Each of the six basic styles of robot used in industry today were designed with different applications in mind. Some of the robots were designed for assembly, others are more suited for simple pick and place applications, while a select few are capable of carrying heavy loads over a large area. The operations of the robots have also advanced from simple hard-stop, one-function, hydraulic actuated robots to the more sophisticated, high-precision, servo controlled robots that can be reprogrammed to do many different jobs. Robots have greatly increased production, the quality of the parts, and the safety of workers. The main reason for the use of robots is to make a company profitable while producing a high quality part at competitive prices. The number of robots used in industry increases every year as more companies realize their many benefits. Robots are the future of the manufacturing industry. As the performance and flexibility of robots increases and their prices continue to drop, many companies will uses these added incentives to invest in the future. Soon every company that has an application for a robot will be forced to invest in one, to stay competitive in the world market. Introduction The Robotics Industry Association defines a robot as ?a reprogrammable, multifunctional manipulator designed to move material, parts, tools, or specialized devices through variable programmed motions for the performance of a variety of tasks? (Zalda 8). In short, a robot is a machine that is programmed to perform a variety of tasks in place of humans. The first industrial robot, built in 1961, was a mechanical arm used to load presses. After the development of the computer and the CNC (Computer Numerical Control) in the 1970?s, the world saw great advances in the development of robotic control and the quality of robot manufacturing. As a result, there has been acceptance of the industrial robot world wide, improving the productivity and quality standards of industry (Hodges 3-5). Robots acco... ... middle of paper ... ... ?Automation Reduces Weld Spatter? Welding Design & Fabrication (Jun. 2001): 37 EBSCOhost. Online. Nov. 2002 . Cheney, Susan. ?Packaging & Manufacturing.? Candy Industry (Jun. 2000): 20. InfoTrac. Online. Nov. 2002 . Hodges, Bernard. Industrial Robotics, 2nd ed. Boston: B.H. Newnes, 1992. ?Robotics? McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology, 1995 ed. ?Robotics will boost quality and transfer efficiency levels.? Coatings (Jul.-Aug. 1991): 66 InfoTrac. Online. Nov. 2002. . ?Small Shop Gains Edge with Robotic Welding.? Welding Design & Fabrication (Aug. 2001): 42 EBSCOhost. Online. Nov. 2002 . Time Life. Computer Age. Alexandria, VA: Time-Life Inc., 1992. Weimer, George. ?Robots ?see? factory?s future.? Material Handling Management (Mar. 2002): 25. InfoTrac. Online. Nov. 2002 . Williams, Gray ?Robots and Automation.? The new book of popular science. Grolier Inc., 1996, 186-94. Woodman, Chester L., Kurt Kuster. ?Small shop, big decision.? American Machinest (Apr. 2001): 78 EBSCOhost. Online. Nov. 2002 . Zalda, Roberta. ?Using flexibility to justify robotics automation costs.? Industrial Management (Nov.-Dec. 1994): 8. InfoTrac. Online. Nov. 2002 .

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