Universal Robots UR10 arms at Nissan Factory. Credit: Universal Robots.
Nissan Motor Company has deployed Universal Robots' UR10 robot arms at its Yokohama factory.
The robot arms are examples of collaborative robots (cobots), which are an offshoot of traditional industrial robots. Cobots are said to be lightweight and mobile in terms of deployment, and are flexible enough to be modified for different applications.
The automotive industry uses cobots in a wide variety of processes including handling, assembling, packaging, palletising, labelling, painting, quality control and machine tending. According to Universal Robots, the market value for collaborative industrial robots in the automotive industry is projected to reach US$469.82 million by 2021.
With Universal Robots' cobots, Nissan has automated its production processes and tasks that weigh up to 10 kg and require precision and reliability. With a reach radius of up to 1300mm, the cobots are designed to be more effective at tasks across a larger area, and can save time on production lines where distance can be a factor.
They are also designed to work alongside humans, as a tool to help simplify and speed up tasks that might be complicated or require great physical strength.
As such, the UR10 robot arms have enabled Nissan to experience a higher level of output and stability as well as time and cost efficiencies. In addition, they have reduced workload for Nissan's aging workforce, who were redeployed to less strenuous tasks.
"We needed a robot large enough to carry hefty intake manifold components, weighing up to 6kgs," said Nakamura, expert headman for the plant's Engine Section.
"In comparison with other companies' robots, we selected the UR10 due to its cost advantages for a single robot, as well as its weight capacity. In the process of installing the intake manifolds, only the UR10 robot arm had the payload of 10kg among the other products we considered," he added.
"We are excited to be working with Nissan in their automation journey. The global automotive industry plays a key role in driving the adoption of collaborative robots (cobots) to produce better manufacturing output, and this is critical for industry players to stay competitive," said Shermine Gotfredsen, General Manager, SEA and Oceania, Universal Robots.
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