• Nissan taps Universal Robots to boost productivity

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    UNIVERSAL Robots, the leading collaborative robotics company, on Thursday announced that Nissan Motor Co. has successfully deployed Universal Robots’ UR10 robot arms at its Yokohama factory, joining other global automotive manufacturers including BMW and Volkswagen who are using Universal Robots’ collaborative robots (cobots) to automate their processes.

    Through the deployment of Universal Robots’ cobots, Nissan has enhanced its production processes, resulting in a higher level of output and stability as well as time and cost efficiencies. Nissan’s aging workforce will also enjoy a reduced workload and were redeployed to less strenuous tasks.

    “We are excited to be working with Nissan in their automation journey. The global automotive industry plays a key role in driving the adoption of collaborative robots (cobots) to produce better manufacturing output, and this is critical for industry players to stay competitive,” Shermine Gotfredsen, Universal Robots general manager for Southeast Asia (SEA) and Oceania, said in a statement.

    “Our cobots effectively support process automation, resulting in improved safety standards and less strain on human employees,” Gotfredsen said.

    Cobots are an offshoot of traditional industrial robots. They are lightweight and mobile in terms of deployment, and are flexible enough to be modified for different applications. The automotive industry uses cobots in a wide variety of processes, including handling, assembling, packaging, palletizing, labeling, painting, quality control and machine tending.

    The market value for collaborative industrial robots in the automotive industry was $23.56 million in 2015 and is projected to reach $469.82 million by 2021, at a CAGR (compounded annual growth rate) of 64.67 percent between 2015 and 2021.

    Universal Robots’ cobots are collaborative industrial robot arms that can automate processes and tasks that weigh up to 10 kg, and require precision and reliability. With a reach radius of up to 1300mm, the cobots are designed to be more effective at tasks across a larger area, and can save time on production lines where distance can be a factor.

    “After deliberating on the range of safety and features required, Nissan decided on using the UR10 robot arms which were easily installed, programmed and operational within a week. The deployment of UR10 robot arms at Nissan reduced production time and quality as well as allowed employees to be relieved of monotonous tasks, allowing them to obtain valuable line experience elsewhere,” Gotfredsen said.

    With the increasing demand for vehicles, the Philippine automotive industry is also moving toward automation using collaborative industrial robots to ensure cost-effective increases in manufacturing, the Universal Robots statement noted.

    The upcoming implementation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Free Trade Area is expected to lower import and export taxes in the region, further driving demand for cost-effective regionally manufactured vehicles, it said.

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