Specialist Machinery Sales’ Managing Director, Todd Dolling states that robots may be the saving grace of the Australian manufacturing industry.
The previous thirty years has seen the slow and gradual decline of Australian manufacturing due to the persistent manufacturing competition offered by Asian companies and also the low wages, which has battered local competitiveness. However, the answer to this problem may very well lie with robotics. Manufacturers such as Zeman are making use of robots from ABB Robotics to develop their machinery as these robots would boost the repetitive operations needed in the metal working industry.
Structural steel fabrication needs not only welding of cleats but also long production times and lots of skilled labor. SMS acts as the agent for structural steel cleat beam assembler units, which are manufactured by Zeman, making use of robots to assemble and weld the cleats on to the beam. Robots could increase tonnage throughput and also give constant quality assurance, without getting tired or worn out. The beam construction lines created robotically are being done with greater accuracy, longevity, ROI and extra reliability and speed of operation.
Dolling reveals that if robots take over the simple and mundane though potentially dangerous tasks, skilled workers would be able to produce both mass market and high value products, which would bring back the market share from their competitors. Moreover, robots with their simple diagnostics and easy programming features make them highly user-friendly. These new intelligent robots, which include complicated control algorithms, vision systems and sensors, could now perform complex operations.