As compared to rigid automation, flexible automation is better suited for high-volume production environments that manufacture a specific part with only minor differences between them. These robots are typically programmed to perform one or two tasks and retooled when a change in the part needs to be made.
Flexible automation allows a good elasticity and adaptability to market demands thanks to its production conversion capacity, which means that the system can maintain a high quality with very low unit costs. It can also be used to increase the level of precision and consistency within a production process without adding steps or requiring additional equipment.
In addition, it can be more efficient than hard automation when multiple work pieces need to be completed. For example, if you need to weld a car door together, it’s much easier to maneuver a robot around the part than to manually move a torch to various angles and positions.
On the other hand, if you need to run long linear welds with little or no rotation, hard automation might be the best option for your job. It will lower your cost and downtime, ensure a high-quality end product, and increase your productivity overall.
On the other hand, researchers have developed a number of minimally-invasive surgical (MIS) robotic systems that incorporate flexible manipulators to improve safety and performance. They offer superior positioning and force regulation as compared to rigid manipulators, although their soft compliant structure can cause problems with position accuracy in the hands of surgeons.