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Cobots key for product testing

Cobots key for product testing

Nothing is more repetitive than product testing – lending itself to one of the ‘3D jobs’ that robots excel at: dirty, dangerous and dull.

Increasingly, collaborative robots – or cobots – are being used for product testing. This type of automation is maximising the testing environment, improving employee productivity and happiness, benefiting the bottom line while allowing companies to bring products to market much faster than ever before.

Take dishwashers: loading and operating a dishwasher is already a mind numbing job for a human to perform in our regular daily life. Imagine trying to test how many times a dishwasher can be loaded before it wears out?

Scientists from Fraunhofer IPA in Germany have now developed a mobile cobot system for Bosch Siemens Hausgeräte taking over this tedious task. Universal Robots are programmed to load and operate dishwashers for endurance testing. From putting detergent into the machine to testing the internal baskets, the process is now automated and has delivered many benefits; employees have been relieved of repetitive tasks and the application allows for a standardized and controlled 24/7 operation.

The easy assembly, integration, flexibility and precision of cobots means they can be deployed to do intricate tasks including laboratory testing and analysis. In laboratories, cobots are being used to automate demanding research projects where precision is critical. A robot can consistently and repeatedly follow exact processes and pre-defined workflows with miniscule deviation, providing optimum conditions for study and analysis. This gives scientists and researchers more time to spend on other areas of their project.

Canadian manufacturer of robotic grippers, Robotiq, demonstrates just how efficient it is to deploy a product testing solution with its 2-Finger Adaptive Gripper 85 application. From the installation of the robot and the gripper to programming trajectories, product testing and data collection, the application is easily deployed with little to no downtime in production. 

Scott Fetzer Electrical Group in Tennessee uses a Universal Robots UR10 for data collection and life cycle testing of new designs. The cobot is programed to test small motors manufactured by the company, inside customer products. The robot is set to turn the product’s switch on and off, running the motor for a minute, turning it off for 30 seconds and continuing for a period of 400 hours.

During this process the cobot collects relevant data about the quality and performance of the product and the information is transmitted to data storage where it can be analysed. This is an extremely demanding task for employees to undertake and repeat for hours on end with the same level of consistency and precision.

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