Ford is making news again, this time with a collaborative robot that will help build cars. Seeing this headline makes one wonder whether Ford will be pushing out those supercars any faster with robotic help.
Whether or not the Ford GT gets produced more quickly or not, there are some serious benefits of using collaborative robots to help build cars. Dealerships in Indianapolis are just some of the Ford family of car dealers that will be seeing the benefits of faster and more high tech production. Who doesn’t want more cars, faster?
Rather than automating the process entirely, Ford has worked with Kuka Roboter, a German robot manufacturer to create a collaborative, “co-bot” to work with production line workers. The co-bots are used to help fit shock absorbers on Ford Fiesta vehicles in Germany, at the moment, but Ford is looking to use this collaboration in factories all over the world.
Safety Is the Key
The co-bots have hi-tech sensors that will detect when human parts are in their path so that no one gets hurt while working alongside robotic helpers. Robots lift and position shock absorbers, and a human pushes a button to complete the installation. Utilizing robots and humans as a team leads to increased accuracy, strength, and dexterity on the assembly line.
The use of these collaborative robots is going to make tasks easier, safer, and quicker by complementing employees with different abilities, according to Karl Anton from Ford of Europe. Klaus Link from Kuka Roboter said, “We are proud to show the capabilities of our new generation of sensitive robots that are supporting and collaborating with Ford workers by carrying out ergonomically difficult and technically challenging tasks.”
Have Coffee with a Robot
In order to decide what uses these robots may fulfill within different areas of auto production, Ford sought feedback from production line workers. The goal is to find out which tasks the co-bots are best suited for in working alongside line workers. These robots can be programmed to make a cup of coffee, shake hands, and perform many other interactive tasks. Already used in many pharmaceutical and electronics applications, the move to car building is a logical step for co-bots.
The entire process of building a car from the ground up is overwhelming, to say the least. There are so many different parts and pieces that need to go together perfectly, that it can be quite easy for human errors to occur. Utilizing automated processes, and now interactive robotics, makes it easier for Ford to feel comfortable with the safety and security of its vehicles as they roll off the production line.
This, in turn, creates better cars and trucks for consumers and families, while enabling Indianapolis Ford dealers to feel confident in selling these products to the public. While the co-bots are a new thing, the results of the testing have shown that production line workers wholeheartedly agree with using their strength and dexterity to make the human aspect of building cars easier and safer.
To see some of the latest Ford models on the showroom floor, head down to Bloomington Ford today for a test drive.