Industry 4.0 development has considerably spread the use of Industrial Robotics Automation systems, even in sectors previously far from it.
The need to increase production efficiency and develop new business paths has made robots in the industrial sector to reach such an importance that it is almost impossible to imagine doing some works without their help. The paper and converting industry is no exception.
Industrial robotics is a secondary area of Industrial Automation involving the use of robots to assist the operator with some processes, improving his ergonomics or increasing his speed. Thanks to the robotization of processes (Robotic Process Automation) it is possible to obtain production increases, lower costs, greater precision and reliability. There are several advantages in using robotics in the industrial processes but we can mainly reduce them to three categories: productivity, precision and efficiency. A robot is able to perform many tasks autonomously or semi-autonomously through previously programmed movements, or by adapting its performance to the environmental and process context, using sensors and/or artificial intelligence solutions. In this case, the system acquires data, processes them and adjusts the operation of the machine accordingly.
The use of industrial robotic automation solutions was born in the assembly line to replace humans with robots and automated systems capable of taking on repetitive and tiring tasks ensuring high speeds. It has now developed to very different application realities thanks to the use of artificial intelligence or human-robot collaboration solutions. As a consequence of current and future developments of this technology, its fields of application are multiplying, as well as the advantages for those who automate industrial processes.
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Paper and tissue industry: which robots to use
The use of robots is particularly suitable for all those situations in which hard works requiring special attention have to be managed, as they may jeopardise the worker’s health. For instance, we are referring to activities involving the use of particular tools such as blades and presses or characterized by demanding tasks such as moving massive paper reels or managing potentially hazardous substances. In all these cases, a robot allows you to carry out the activity while ensuring the safety of your staff. The workers can perform activities that have a greater impact on the company, increasing their contribution to the overall productivity – as they doesn’t have to deal with repetitive tasks with low-added value anymore. Thus, the increase in productivity becomes complete. In fact, the ability of robots to increase business productivity should not be overlooked. Furthermore, in particular situations such as the current one, robotic automation has made possible to guarantee work continuity and respond flexibly to processing variations, unexpected staff reductions and sudden peaks in demand. In addition, the use of robots significantly reduces the risk of oversights and errors, thanks to the high and constant precision degree of the operations, reducing non-homogeneity and processing waste. Finally, it is possible to accurately schedule processes, tests, updates and workflows, always knowing in advance how long they will last and how uniform the results will be. Given these capabilities, robots can be particularly useful in the paper and converting industry for activities such as machine tending, material handling and end-of-line and packaging management.