robotics

Industrial Robot vs Cobot: Which is Ideal for Your Startup?

Are you having a hard time deciding what kind of robot you should get to maximize your investments? If yes, this short blog might be able to help you choose the right one for your business.

It is true that robots are investments worth considering but with the different types of robots out there, it is hard to choose one that best suits your application.

You may have partners who can guide you through the process of choosing one, but it is always good to know the basics yourself. The first question to ask is whether you will go for collaborative robots or industrial robots. For small businesses, including startups, it is crucial to understand the limitations and strengths of both types to ensure your business’ success. Let us start our discussion with collaborative robots.

Collaborative Robots (Cobots)

Collaborative robots are recent developments where robots can work alongside human workers instead of replacing them. Like industrial robots, cobots can also perform repetitive, error-prone, and monotonous tasks. Thus, allowing human workers to focus more on tasks that require critical thinking, reasoning, and creativity.

Advantages

Cobots can augment the abilities of human workers and provide greater flexibility compared to industrial robotic systems. They are also more affordable and easier to integrate into your manufacturing line compared to industrial robots. Since deploying cobots is simpler and faster, less time is needed for training and integration. This allows for quicker investment returns.

One reason for the affordable prices of cobots is the competition in the market. New companies keep emerging to meet the increasing demand for collaborative robots. This has also given rise to new ideas and parts. There are companies that are developing new end of arm tooling, software, and accessories to increase the flexibility and applicability of cobots.

Disadvantages

Cobots are slower and have lower payload capacities compared to industrial robots. There are manufacturers (such as Yaskawa, Doosan, and Fanuc) who are trying to increase the reach and payload capacities of their cobots. These cobots can go beyond the required 1 to 1.5-meter reach and 10-kg payload capacity.

However, cobots always need to comply with the regulations set by ANSI/RIA and ISO. These regulations give a limit to the payload and speed of cobots in order to prevent harm to the surrounding human workers.

Applications

Collaborative robots are suitable for tasks that need significant safeguards. They are also used for tasks that require human assistance and for manufacturing plants with lower production requirements.

Industrial Robots

robotic arm

Industrial robots are big and heavy machines that can continuously perform tasks without the assistance of humans. They are built for power and speed and excel at completing dirty, dangerous, and monotonous tasks. They can complete different tasks much faster with higher accuracy as compared to human workers.

Advantages

Among the greatest advantages of industrial robots is their speed which allows them to complete complex tasks. They can also handle higher payloads than collaborative robots. Moreover, you can integrate industrial robots into a more specialized system, unlike collaborative robots. Thus, providing your manufacturing plant greater efficiency and productivity.

Disadvantages

Industrial robots provide sheer force and speed. This is why they require considerable safety systems to make sure that they can safely complete tasks. Integrating these powerful systems into your production line along with the required safeguards will cost you more compared to collaborative robots.

Applications

A few industries that use industrial robots in their manufacturing lines include the following:

  • Food and beverage
  • Chemical
  • Metal
  • Plastic
  • Electronics
  • Automotive

If you are looking for durable industrial robots, you can check out EVS robotic arms.

Making the Right Choice

Choosing the wrong robot can restrict the growth of your business in the future. So, make sure that you choose properly according to your application’s specific needs. But how do you determine whether an industrial robot or a cobot is right for your business? Below is a 3-step guide that can help you find the ideal machine for your production line.

#1 Determine Your Specific Needs

The first thing you need to do is to determine the goals you really want to achieve in your manufacturing line. Is it to increase your production, increase worker safety, or reduce mistakes? Take note of the challenges that your business is encountering.

#2 Talk to Experienced People

Next, find and talk to people who can guide you in matching your options to achieve your goals. You can go to organizations like the MEP National Network and Catalyst Connection to find such experts.

#3 Analyze Your Options

The last step is to analyze your options to find the one that best matches your financial and operational requirements. When choosing a robot, consider the future improvements you want to do.

Conclusion

Whether you wish to buy an industrial robot or a collaborative robot for your business, make sure to understand your business’ needs first. This will help you filter out which machines are ideal for your application. Choosing the right machine can reduce your operating costs and give you a more effective production line.