#THOUGHTSONROBOTS: Peter McCullough
In this interview with OnRobot, Product Manager Peter McCullough from Mills CNC Limited shares his views on potentials and challenges for collaborative applications.
"To me, the biggest advantage in the use of collaborative applications is the ability to work in close proximity to human operators without specific guarding and the speed and simplicity of deployment.
I have spent my whole career in automation of production, and I see collaborative applications as the natural extension of that journey with simple, low cost and easily deployable automation solutions."
"In my view, collaborative applications have potential in any repetitive processes that are currently occupying an operator who could be doing more value-added tasks or operations that expose an operator to health risks.
That could be, for example, sanding or polishing which require specific personal protection equipment. Also, collaborative applications have big potential within the processes of machine tending, warehousing and logistics."
Obstacles in deployment
"On the other hand, there can be obstacles when deploying collaborative applications. For example, many collaborative robots have not met customer’s expectations because they were over-promised by the salespersons and under-supported on installation.
Furthermore, understanding the applications in general and ensuring they are truly collaborative can be a challenge."
Strong local presence
"How do we overcome the challenges? For manufacturers, it’s important to look for a company with a strong local presence and a support structure to help deliver an effective robust solution. For robot companies, it’s important to develop applications with ease of use and speed of redeployment designed for the environment they will work within."
5 tips to manufacturers
Peter's 5 most important tips to manufacturers deploying collaborative applications are:
- Do not overcomplicate the application
- Look for the easy wins
- Take a different look at your manufacturing processes
- Release your human resources for more value-adding activities
- Do not overlook safety
Surprised by suspicion
"On a personal note, the lack of understanding and suspicion (“these robots will take our jobs”) towards this kind of automation in the manufacturing sector has surprised me a lot. The suspicion contradicts the enthusiasm among people who do understand and embrace the benefits of collaborative robots"
How to Grow your Business with Collaborative Applications
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