Five stories about cobots improving workplaces

On 28 April, we celebrate World Day for Safety and Health at Work, an awareness-raising campaign that promotes the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases globally. On this special day of awareness, here are 5 stories about cobots taking on dangerous, hard, repetitive or dull tasks where they have allowed people to focus on work that is more enjoyable and less likely to cause injuries.

Five stories about cobots improving workplaces
Five stories about cobots improving workplaces

"I had a lot of aches and pains in the past" (USA)

Thyssenkrupp Bilstein is a manufacturing plant in Hamilton, Ohio, manufacturing high-tech suspension solutions for the automotive industry. In 2018, it made a commitment to its employers, especially women, to decrease ergonomically unfavorable tasks.

Nine UR10 collaborative robots were deployed at the manufacturer’s plant to automate hard-to-staff tasks such as machine tending, assembly, and product inspection. The cobots optimized production and provided a better work environment.

‘Now we can flow much better production-wise and my job is easier as I just load the tubes and let the cobots take care of the rest´, says operator Quenna Quarles who handles the now-automated tasks.

E.J. Seck, who used to manually tend a CNC machine and a hole puncher, enjoys his new cobot colleagues that have taken over these tasks. ‘Before the robots it was crazy, but now my job is much more organized´, he says. ‘I can take my time and do my quality checks and my production reports. I won´t lose count of how much I ran because I can focus on that more than running around in circles.’

TASKS SOLVED BY COLLABORATIVE ROBOTS: Tending of CNCs, punch and forming machines, pick-and place, assembly, product inspection

Read the full case story here.

I had a lot of aches and pains in the past, constantly having to physically punch that, move this.

Quenna Quarles, Operator, Thyssenkrupp Bilstein
Five stories about cobots improving workplaces
Five stories about cobots improving workplaces

Free employees from working in awkward positions (Italy)

On the FIAT 500 electric car production line (Mirafiori factory in Turin, Italy), some of the assembly processes and quality controls really benefitted from the introduction of specific automation technologies- not only to ensure the quality and repeatability needed to meet product standards, but also to protect the health of the older factory workers.

For example, the application of the waterproof liner to the vehicle doors.

‘The application of the liner required the operator to apply constant pressure using a dynamometric roller, a task that over the long term could damage the arm joints and cause musculoskeletal disease. **So the cobot has brought two benefits: high operating precision and quality, along with improved ergonomics and well-being for our operators’** explains ergonomics specialist Giuseppe Guidone.

Two UR10e cobots operate in parallel on the door assembly line. A vision system registers the arrival of the door and activates the cobot, which uses a roller attached to its wrist to apply constant pressure on the fabric, applying it on the door panel. The application is particularly challenging because it requires the cobot to follow a complex path within a confined space, avoiding the panel's push pin protrusions and ensuring that the liner is completely sealed to prevent the infiltration of water. The cobots work with millimetric precision, guaranteeing a repeatability of +/- 0.05 mm.

TASKS SOLVED BY COLLABORATIVE ROBOTS: Assembly, screw tightening, quality control, visual inspection, dispensing

Read the full case story here.

Five stories about cobots improving workplacesFive stories about cobots improving workplaces

’Inkeri, a beloved worker, was responsible for this process for 30 years’ (Finland)

A few kilometers south of the Arctic Circle, the Finish company Pentik makes tableware out of English clay. The making of ceramics is manual labor. When a worker glazes tableware and shapes dishes with a tool, they will repeat the same task hundreds of times a day. Tasks that are hard on the hands, shoulders and backs of the workers.

Now a UR10 cobot is glazing the tableware. The robot picks up the item from the tray with a self-made vacuum gripper. The cobot lowers the pieces of ceramics into the glazing mixture. After dipping the item, the robot places it on one of two deposit points. If the deposit points are full, the robot will wait.

’The cobot imitates the movements of hands of Inkeri, a beloved worker who was responsible for this process for 30 years,’ Kaivosoja explains.

An employee takes the piece from the deposit point and checks its quality. They wipe away excess glaze from the bottom of the piece so that it does not get stuck to the firing equipment.

TASKS SOLVED BY COLLABORATIVE ROBOTS: Assisting human worker with the glazing process of ceramic pieces, Forming of the Kallio plates

Read the full case story here.

Five stories about cobots improving workplaces
Five stories about cobots improving workplaces

No room for error – Sharp objects handling (France)

BOOG Machining Company specializes in short production series of machining, turning and milling of small, sharp parts. They were looking for ways to avoid and reduce health problems related to handling these production tools.

Here is where UR5 came onto the scene. It has helped them prevent accidents, as its task is now to handle those parts that can lead to injuries if handled incorrectly.

The UR5 has allowed BOOG to optimize production processes, and now one of its employees loads and unloads the machine every three hours, instead of constantly monitoring it as before. This has freed up valuable resources that now add value to other phases of production by taking on multiple tasks.


Read the full case story here.

Five stories about cobots improving workplaces
Five stories about cobots improving workplaces

Working in a noisy and dusty place? Not anymore. (Czech Republic)

In the past, mouldings at Linaset, a plastic moulding manufacturer, had been blasted manually on a worktable on both sides using a special blasting media – an operation that was both time and resource consuming when done completely manually. The blast applicator needed to be held upright in a particularly dusty and noisy workplace. The job was considerably physically demanding for people and unfriendly for the environment.

Fortunately, a suitable automated solution was found: UR5. Linaset installed the robot and put it to work.

’Within a few days, the robot was deployed at the workplace and began to operate reliably,’ explains Petr Šromota, major production manager at Linaset.


Read the full case story here.

Five stories about cobots improving workplaces
Five stories about cobots improving workplaces

Cobots keep your workers safe and healthy

Collaborative robots are ready to take on repetitive and dangerous tasks that are traditionally carried out by people. This not only helps to improve safety conditions for workers but can also lead to increased efficiency and productivity.

Universal Robots

We believe that collaborative robotic technology can be used to benefit all aspects of task-based businesses – no matter what their size.

We believe that the latest collaborative robot technology should be available to all businesses. The nominal investment cost is quickly recovered as our robotic arms have an average payback period of just six months.

Local Office
  • Universal Robots USA, Inc
  • 27175 Haggerty Road, Suite 160
  • 48377 Novi, MI
Contact us: +1 844-462-6268
Contact us: + 1-844-GO-COBOT