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Cobots are capable of enhancing quality control, maximizing efficiency and increasing production output – Sougandh K.M, Country Manager, India, Universal Robots

Universal Robots is at the forefront of technology, enabling Human-Robot collaboration that makes industrial automation safe, easy, and accessible for businesses of all sizes, who are able to automate and streamline repetitive industrial processes. The Universal Robots collaborative robots (cobots) can work right alongside personnel with no safety guarding, based on the results of a mandatory risk assessment.

Mr. Sougandh K.M, Country Manager of India, Universal Robots
Mr. Sougandh K.M, Country Manager of India, Universal Robots

Mr. Sougandh K.M  is Country Manager of India for Universal Robots. He recently interacted with team fyi9.com where he has answered about the technology, organizations and how Cobots are transforming businesses.

Prateek: Tell us about the journey of Universal Robots in India.

Sougandh K. M: Cobot automation in India started in the year 2010 with Bajaj Auto deploying Universal robots in their production lines. Thereafter, more companies such as Aurolab, CATI, L’Oréal in Pune, Shruti Engineers, and Shree Laxmi Agro, to name a few have integrated cobots in their production lines to conduct multiple processes and remain competitive in the global market.

In India, companies have seen tremendous growth in their productivity and efficiency after the deployment of cobots in their production lines. Cobots are an affordable automation solution for Indian SMBs. Cobots have penetrated in various sectors of the economy, including electrical, food and beverage, metal and machinery, automotive and many more.

With cobots’ capability of working 24/7 round the clock without human errors caused by fatigue, productivity on the factory floor has risen significantly. In addition, the deployment of cobots has lowered the operational risks and improved manufacturing processes.

Prateek: How are cobots transforming the manufacturing sector?

Sougandh K. M: Collaborative robotics aids in the growth and automation of business activities in factories, warehouses, research centres, etc. With the help of cobots, businesses of all sizes may scale up and automate various manufacturing processes. These cobots are capable of enhancing quality control, maximising efficiency and increasing production output.

Manufacturing industries are mostly labour-intensive. While labour remains an important cost driver in most industries, improving labour productivity can drive significant value. Cobots increase efficiency in manufacturing processes and help in increasing the mass-production of goods.

With the deployment of cobots, Bajaj Auto Ltd. saw a gradual rise in the productivity and efficiency of their production processes. The manufacturer has also witnessed a rise in the productivity and morale of employees. They have deployed over 150 cobots since 2010 and are now the 3rd largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world. After the integration of cobots, Bajaj Auto has seen the added benefits; cobots are easy to use, require low annual maintenance and offer higher energy efficiency.

Prateek: What are the contributions made by cobots in achieving sustainability goals?

Sougandh K. M: Cobots have helped manufacturers in attaining sustainability by reducing wastage. For instance, human employees may be prone to human errors after conducting repetitive tasks for a long period of time. Whereas cobots are designed to relieve humans from working on dull and tedious jobs, ensuring that human errors are reduced, further leading to a reduction in product wastage.

Additionally, UR cobots use most of its power consumption to hold itself up. The cobots only require the same amount of power as everyday household appliances. The UR3e only consumes 100W on average, which is the same amount of energy as an average desktop computer. A UR5e and the newest generation of gaming consoles both use approximately 200W. With an average power consumption of 350W, this is the same amount of power as a basic household blender. Cobots have proven to assist companies in achieving sustainability goals with the reduction of carbon emissions in the environment.

Prateek: How can cobots enhance the workplace experience?

Sougandh K. M: Cobots are enhancing the workplace experiences due to the several benefits associated with their deployment such as:

  • Increased production: cobots are capable of working around the clock, leading to an increased production output
  • Easy Installation and maintenance: cobots can be easily installed with little training and guidance. Even employees with no robotic background can operate a cobot
  • Safety: Unlike the large and bulky industrial robots that may pose a danger to human workers, compact cobots are designed to work alongside human employees. These cobots are deployed after several safety assessments, ensuring that safety remains a priority for humans
  • Highest quality: While humans may be prone to errors after working on repetitive tasks for a prolonged period of time, cobots work with accuracy and precision. They play a huge role in improving product quality by eliminating human error and ensuring consistency
  • Flexible: Economic uncertainty and unpredictable consumer behavior make it hard for manufacturers to know what to produce, how much, when and where. With cobots, however, manufacturers can scale production up and down as demand requires and expand into new markets more quickly

Prateek: How customer service evolves with the cobot market?

Sougandh K. M: Cobots are compact, flexible and easy to program, hence they have been deployed even in non-traditional settings and customer-facing environments. Unlike traditional industrial robots, cobots are safe to work alongside humans without additional safety cages or fences (upon risk assessment).

With advancements in technology, humanoid robots and even cobots are seen serving customers in restaurants. Cobots are capable of preparing food and performing other tasks such as cleaning and packing food items.

For instance, Babo Arms, a bubble tea shop located in Taiwan, introduced the UR5 cobot to its production processes, including making tea, cleaning cups, sealing drinks, and handling drinks to customers.

Also, Café  BOTBOTBOT located in Seoul, leveraged UR3 and UR5 cobots to help human employees efficiently respond to the needs of customers while making hand drip coffee, decorating cakes, and mixing cocktails that usually take time to prepare. The UR cobots carry out repetitive routine tasks on behalf of human workers, improving customer service, productivity, and quality.


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