Packaging companies are increasingly likely to integrate “cobots” into production lines over the coming years, suggests market research company Technavio.
The firm’s analysts forecast the global market for cobots will expand at an annual rate of about 50% between 2014 and 2019.
Cobots tend to be smaller and more user-friendly than traditional, less mobile industrial robots. They may use advanced technologies and can follow instructions without the need for regular programming. But above all, it is their flexibility and mobility that makes them ideal for packaging applications.
While initially designed for the electronics industry, ABB’s dual-armed YuMi, for example, demonstrates the versatility and collaborative ability suitable for packaging applications. Its speed, agility and sensory capabilities, plus its high degree of flexibility and customization, make it ideal for fragile materials, where multiple components are packaged together or applications that change frequently to meet customer demand.