Cobots are transforming electric-vehicle manufacturing, which is currently producing vehicles at insufficient volume to deploy industrial robots at scale. In this environment, cobots are helping them on their journey to automation as they rapidly scale up production and increase productivity to compete on price with conventionally fueled vehicles.
Universal Robots launched the world’s first commercially viable collaborative robot (or cobot) in 2008, and it has since become the fastest-growing segment of the global robotics market. The company is now the market leader in this space, having sold more than 44,000 models, used in several thousand production environments around the world.
“Before the pandemic, demand for collaborative robots (cobots) in the UK was driven by Brexit labour shortages and the need to improve efficiencies and productivity in manufacturing,” president Jürgen von Hollen says. “These issues are still evident, but now they are impacted by the need to protect workers and enable social distancing in the production line. While it’s true that the manufacturing sector is experiencing uncertainty due to the COVID crisis, for us this has really highlighted the need for flexible manufacturing.”
He adds: “Cobots can allow manufacturers to be more agile and change up their production line to match changing market demands. Globally, we’re seeing many of our customers adapting very quickly to the pandemic. For example, SEAT in Spain has transformed one of its assembly lines to produce ventilators, and in the US, Hurco North America have deployed cobots to create PPE. No matter what the future holds, companies of every size should have access to automation, and this is the main driver behind our business.”