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Working with Cobots? Opinions from the workforce!
17. June 2016 / By Universal Robots / 0 Comments
We hear the benefits automation brings to business but what about the employees who work hand-in-hand with these new technologies? What type of impact does automation have on their lives?
Education, flexibility, fun, productivity, safety and an improved work culture are just a few examples shared by members of the global workforce who work together with collaborative robots (cobots) on a daily basis.
Here, they share their stories
Precision engineering firm Inertia Switch in Orangeburg New York, knows only too well the positive impact cobots can bring to employees. The company uses the Universal Robots’ UR5 to optimise production by doing repetitive and mundane tasks which frees up workers and creates new jobs. Employees are now learning how to program and work with robots on the factory floor.
Slobodan Todori, Machinist at Inertia Switch said a UR5 is now doing his job and the change has been a rewarding experience.
‘I feel better about myself programing a robot that’s actually doing the job that I would have done. It feels pretty good’, he said.
According to Slobodan, learning how to program the robot was easy and efficient.
‘We got the software and uploaded it onto the Universal Robot and it started working. It was perfect. It was plug and play. I went through the manual and it showed me there was a teach program on it. It’s very easy to program. It has a teach method where you hold onto the button and move the robot arm around wherever you like it and then set that as a waypoint. I made a simple program doing different movements. It was pretty easy’.
Dynamic Group is an injection moulding company based in Minnesota with more than 135 employees. Press Operator, Darryl Lidel never thought he’d have the opportunity to work with robots.
‘It’s awesome. My job was pretty strenuous without the robot but now we have one it makes my days go by a lot easier, faster and it makes everything run through a lot more smoothly.’
The integration of a UR5 and UR10 into the production line at BJ-Gear A/S in Denmark, has improved business efficiency as well as employee motivation, education and organisational culture.
‘Before we had Universal Robots I stood eight hours a day at the same machine and didn’t have any other assignments. The robots have enabled me to be more flexible and take on new tasks. It’s also made it more interesting to come to work as you learn to program the robots, which is really fun’, said Lars Meldgaard Nielsen, Industrial Engineer at BJ-Gear A/S.
The company believes cobots are the most cost effective way to automate production and to stay ahead of the competition.
The UR5 and UR10 cobots have opened up new doors for the Scott Fetzer Electrical Group in Tennessee which has seen a 20 percent increase in productivity since they were introduced.
Line Lead, Sebrina Thompson said that if you can work a smartphone you can pretty much work the robots.
‘When the robots were first introduced, employees were a little nervous and anxious but now they’re on the floor the staff can’t live without them’, she said.
The UR5 and UR10 are now part of the family and fondly called Thelma and Louise by the workers who beside them on the factory floor each day.
The staff are excited by the low cost robotic arms and the improvements they have made to the business. They’re continuously looking for new ways cobots can be used to improve processes and increase efficiencies.
It’s not only efficiency and productivity that’s remains a priority for companies. Employee happiness is also at the top of the list. At the BMW Plant Spartanbur, Nise Ellis works hand-in-hand with Universal Robot technology, which has reduced strain and increased the overall performance of the production. The technology gives employees peace of mind so they can concentrate on other tasks at work and enjoy their life.
These low cost robotic arms are creating opportunities and creating jobs for the future
We believe that collaborative robotic technology can be used to benefit all aspects of task-based businesses – no matter what their size.
We believe that the latest collaborative robot technology should be available to all businesses. The nominal investment cost is quickly recovered as our robotic arms have an average payback period of just six months.