Robots have been very effective in replacing humans in several monotonous activities. Many car company are also heading towards this alternative for labour to cut down time and production cost. Some of the companies leading in such research are Honda Motors and Toyota Motors. Both these companies have replaced humans with robots, in vehicle production.
The robots reduce the production time of per unit of car, thereby increase productivity. Japan, which is facing shortage of labour, is doing extensive research in this field. Let’s have a small overview how robot works:
- The motion and sensory processing of a robot is controlled by the robot control system monitors
- The sensory system gathers the specific information needed by the control system. In more advanced systems, the sensors maintain an internal model of the environment to enable prediction and decision making. The industrial robots are installed with minimal sensory system, but advanced sensors are needed to gather data about the external environment
- These sensors help detect position, velocity, acceleration, visual, proximity, acoustic, force-torque, tactile, thermal and radiation data. Robots also perform complex tasks in remote locations that cannot be carried out by human.
India is also conducting similar trials with robots in assembly line. It is none other than Tata Motors which has employed over 326 robots in the small cars
production unit. The company claims that the production time per unit of car is now just one minute! It means that a production unit will be able to manufacture around 1000 cars everyday.
With so many robots, Tata Motors matches the production line of German manufacturer Mercedes Benz. Use of robots in the car plant also encounters minimal human interference thereby minimizing the margin of error. This is the highest level of automation in car production and also has the highest safety levels. So far, Tata Motors had 200 robots and the older assembly lines have much fewer with just 70 robots in the line.
The company has set up the unit with the help of Germany based Kuka Robotics. The company is a subsidiary of Kuka Schweissanlagen Group, supplier of industrial robots worldwide. In a period of just two years it has installed 550 robots in the country. The company has the responsibility to create an entire line for Indica or the X1 at Tata’s Pune plant which will be the most automated automotive line. Other car manufacturers like BMW, Daimler, Chrysler, Volkswagen, Ford and Renault also have robots to ease the production. The installation of robotic can help the companies to speed up work and minimize errors in repetitive work like welding, Metal Production, handling, assembly, grinding, polishing and painting.
But in a country like India, which has a population of billion, installing robots will result in loss of jobs to people. The car manufacturers
have to draw a thick line between installing robots and providing jobs to people.