Carmaker General Motors Co. decided to connect a quarter of the 30,000 of their robots to the Internet. It looks like that this decision has been very beneficial, and that the smaller amount of downtime has proven to be good for the company’s progress.
Director of the global automation, Mark Franks, has stated that in the last two years, General Motors Co. has managed to avoid over 100 potential failures when it comes to vehicle-assembling robots. This was done by successfully analyzing the data that they sent to the cloud’s external servers. Connecting the robots to the Internet has prevented any interruptions on the assembly line, and also robot replacements that have been known to take as long as eight hours,
Franks also said that the company can save a lot of money if only disruptions in the manufacturing process could be avoided.
International Federation of Robotics’s reports stated that the automaking companies are the largest customers of the robotics’ industry and that in 2016 alone, more than 17,600 robots were installed in these companies. Second largest customers are electronic manufacturers, with somewhere around 5,100 robots installed during last year, and the third place belongs to metal producers, with 1,900 robots.
Another benefit of robots being connected to the Internet takes the form of easier detection of worn out parts. When the parts start wearing off, the company can simply order new ones, instead of having to store them somewhere in the factory. This way, both space, and money are being saved.
A report that was made by the Association for Advancing Automation claims that robots actually help when it comes to creating new jobs. According to their report, GM has increased the robot applications by 10,000 in the last five years, and at the same time, the US employment almost a third to a total of 105,000.
A lot more is expected from the robots in the future, but Franks said that connecting them to the internet and achieving preventive maintenance is just a start. He also said that GM is already using robots that are perfectly safely working alongside humans in one of their factories. The factory in question produces the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid.
Franks stated that “The amount of technology coming at us in the next five years is probably more than we’ve seen in the last 50.”