Human collaboration? Speed? Production capacity? Number of risk assessments? Price? ROI?

Have you fallen for the Cobot trend?

• 2 min read

It’s very modern to buy and install collaborative robots, also known as cobots. I have heard about managers who have rushed to invest in cobots and then asked their employees how they can use them to improve production. Wow.

Can a cobot replace an industrial robot? They are lower in price, they feel innovative and modern, and I can understand that you want to buy one. But is it the right choice? Let’s take a look at the differences.

Looking through a crystal ball.

The cobots sales pitch

• They can work in direct collaboration with a human, working at low speed
• They can work without physical safeguarding
• They are easier to program for new tasks
• They are easy to move around
• The price is low

The robots benefits

• High production capacity
• High speed
• High load capacity
• Operates 24/7
• Rigid and stable

As you can see, there are differences, but if we talk about the movements and functionality they are very similar.

A robot can be equipped so it can work collaboratively with humans when needed, and run full production and without interference from humans when needed.

Road signs in different directions with the text: One way.

A cobot, on the other hand, can only operate at low speed and low load capacity to fulfil the safety requirements for human beings.

So, before the investment, make sure you choose the suitable equipment for your needs.

Do you have time for several risk assessments?

A safeguarded robot with a well-conducted risk assessment will not need a revised risk assessment unless you change your production process significantly. When it comes to cobots, for every new task a new risk assessment shall be conducted, and it can be quite expensive to change the tasks. Sometimes an external consultant can be needed, which adds extra costs to the cobot investment.

Cobots might be the fashion right now, but don’t be misled, think about the requirements for your application and the return of investment.

Kim Dahl, Machine Safety Specialist
Kim Dahl
Machine Safety Specialist