How You Can Use Collaborative Robots

collaborative robots

Traditional industrial robots have been used in manufacturing for decades. But a new type of technology called “cobots” – or collaborative robots – is designed to work safely with and alongside people instead of being isolated and guarded inside of a cage like most robots deployed today.

Cost effective, lightweight, and easy to program, cobots are improving productivity, quality and consistency in plants of all types and sizes.

Where Cobots Work Best

To determine whether a cobot would be beneficial for your environment, ask these questions:

  • Could routine tasks be automated?
    When dirty, repetitive, and/or precision jobs can be assigned to cobots (like machine tending, material handling and dispensing), it aids or even frees up employees to complete other jobs. Automating can also improve safety and reduce worker injuries.
  • Does a task require interaction with workers?
    Cobots allow workers to interact directly with the robot with out removing power or being burdened by guarding and restart procedures by employing safety functions to comply with ISO robot collaboration standards.
  • Do you have workforce needs that fluctuate?
    To reduce the need for temporary employees or mandatory overtime these lightweight robots can be implemented when and where you need them to meet production commitments.
  • Do you want to automate but need a quick ROI?
    Part of the cost effectiveness of cobots is exhibited by the short return on investment many users have experienced. Six to eight month ROI is not uncommon.
  • Do you need a solution that requires the flexibility of a robot but is easy to program?
    Cobots offered by VMI were designed with an emphasis on ease of programming for people of various backgrounds and skill levels. Some task paths can simply be taught by moving the robot by hand from point to point.
Easy Maintenance and Re-Deployment

Designed for flexibility, a cobot can be re-deployed as often as needed. After being tasked with dispensing gasketing material, it can quickly be reprogrammed and redeployed to tend a press, injection molding machine or CNC. It is also easy to maintain. Cobot joints can be replaced in the field so it’s back up and running within minutes.

Getting Started with Van Meter

If you think cobots would provide value to your production environment, working with Van Meter is a great way to learn more. We can answer questions, help ensure this is the right technology for your application, consider ROI, aid in proof of concept, train and offer a complete solution (mounting, grippers, cameras, complementary safety devices and controls). If needed, we can also find the right integrator to help with the complete robot implementation.

We’ll help you make the right selection, ensure that you receive training, and address issues or questions that come up along the way.

Schedule A Robot Demo

chad engelkes



Engelkes joined Van Meter in 1998 and has more than 21 years providing customers with automation solutions.