A recent article from BCG took a look at the global robotics trends that are fueling a growing adoption of robotics in manufacturing operations. Despite slow integration of robots in the past, recent trends are paving the way for widespread adoption of robots to increase efficiency, output, and lower manufacturing costs.
Why Robotics Are Gaining Momentum
There are three trends that are hastening the adoption of robotics globally. Each of these trends is projected to continue well into the next decade. Meaning, robotic solutions are going to become more prevalent across all industries in the coming years.
Unsurprisingly, one of the trends driving the rise in robotics adoption is price. Robotics costs, from hardware and software to systems engineering, is rapidly declining and projected to continue to fall over the next decade. And while costs have continued to fall, performance has risen steadily. Together these trends are having a significant impact on robotics adoptions.
Robots are also becoming more flexible. Rather than being rigidly controlled (both in what they can do and how they can work in proximity to humans) robots will continue to become more flexible in the tasks they can perform and their ability to work with humans.
As costs drop, performance increases, and their functionality grows it’s unsurprising that robots are now more accessible to small manufacturers than ever before. And as these trends play out over the next decade, small manufacturers are going to be making use of robots in new and varied ways.
How Robotics Will Impact Tube Bending
You don’t have to look very far down the road to imagine the impact affordable, accessible robots will have on companies that routinely bend tube and pipe. In fact, the BCG article offered an example of a company that is using robots now to increase their bending capacity.
“By using the UR5 for another job—to feed tubes into a bending machine—the company was able to produce 1,500 pieces in four hours, a task that otherwise would have taken two to three days. The company estimates that it achieved a return on its investment in a few months.”
You can read the full article here.
The increase in productivity that robots make possible might mean that tube and pipe benders that are over powered for an all human run shop are needed to meet increased outputs. Or it could mean that shops have the extra capacity to add capabilities (like end forming or notching). Certainly shops that are looking to add robots into their manufacturing process will need to ensure those robots seamlessly work with their existing tube and pipe bending equipment (the example above).
No matter how the future of robotics plays out, it’ll be exciting to see how robotic tube bending impacts and shapes the future of manufacturing.
Image Credit: BCGPerspectives.com