Today most robots are used in manufacturing opera­tions. The applications of robots can be divided into three categories:

1. materialhandling

2. processing operations

3. assembly and inspection.

Material-handling is thetransfer of material and load­ing and unloading of machines. Material-transfer appli­cations require the robot to move materials or work parts from one to another. Many of these tasks are relatively simple: robotspick up parts from one conveyor and place them on another. Other transfer operations are more complex, such as placing parts in anarrangement that can be calculated by the robot. Machine loading and un­loading operationsutilize a robot to load and unload parts. This requires the robot to be equipped with agrip-per that cangrasp parts. Usually the gripper must be designed specifically for the particular part geometry.

In robotic processing operations, the robot manipu­lates a tool to perform a process on the work part. Exam­ples of such applications includespot welding, continu­ous arc welding andspray painting. Spot welding of au­tomobile bodies is one of the most common applications of industrial robots. The robot positions a spot welder against the automobile panels andframes to join them. Arc welding is a continuous process in which robot moves the welding rod along the welding seam. Spray painting is the manipulation of aspray-painting gun over the sur­face of the object to be coated. Other operations in this category includegrinding andpolishing in which a ro­tatingspindle serves as the robot's tool.

The third application area of industrial robots is as­sembly and inspection. The use of robots in assembly is expected to increase because of the high cost ofmanual labour. But the design of the product is an important aspect of robotic assembly. Assembly methods that are satisfactory for humans are not always suitable for ro­bots. Screws and nuts are widely used for fastening in manual assembly, but the same operations are extremely difficult for an one-armed robot.

Inspection is another area of factory operations in which the utilization of robots is growing. In a typical inspection job, the robot positions a sensor with respect to the work part and determines whether the part answers the quality specifications. In nearly all industrial robotic applications, the robot provides a substitute for human labour. There are certain characteristics of industrial jobs performed by humans that can be done by robots:

1. the operation is repetitive, involving the same ba­sic work motions every cycle,

2. the operation ishazardous or uncomfortable for the human worker (for example: spray painting, spot weld­ing, arc welding, and certain machine loading and un­loading tasks),

3. the workpiece or tool is too heavy and difficult to handle,

4. the operation allows the robot to be used on two or three shifts.


handling — обращение

transfer — передача, перенос

location — местонахождение

pick up — брать, подбирать

arrangement — расположение

to utilize — утилизировать, находить при­менение

gripper — захват

to grasp— схватывать

spot welding — точечная сварка

continuous — непрерывный

arc welding — электродуговая сварка

spray painting — окраска распылением

frame — рама

spray-painting gun — распылитель краски

grinding — шлифование

polishing — полирование

spindle — шпиндель

manual — ручной

labour — труд

hazardous — опасный

shift — смена

General understanding:

1. How are robots used in manufacturing?

2. What is «material handling»?

3. What does a robot need to be equipped with to do loading and unloading operations?

4. What does robot manipulate in robotic processing operation?

5. What is the most common application of robots in automobile manufacturing?

6. What operations could be done by robot in car manu­facturing industry?

7. What are the main reasons to use robots in produc­tion?

8. How can robots inspect the quality of production?

9. What operations could be done by robots in hazard­ous or uncomfortable for the human workers conditions?

Exercise 7.4. Translate into English:

1. Существует несколько различных сфер исполь­зования автоматизации в производстве.

2. Для использования жесткой автоматизации не­обходимы большие инвестиции.

3. Жесткая автоматизация широко используется в

химической промышленности.

4. Станки с числовым программным управлением — хороший пример программируемой автоматизации.

5. Гибкая автоматизация делает возможным пере­программирование оборудования.

6. Время простоя оборудования оборачивается боль­шими убытками.

7. Использование гибкой автоматизации делает воз­можным производство разнообразной продукции.

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