Application of Collaborative Robots for Increasing Productivity in an Eyeglasses Lenses Manufacturer
Keywords:cobot, eyeglasses lenses, productivity improvement, factor analysis, simulation
This research focuses on a framework for making decisions when adopting collaborative robots (cobots) to collaborate with or replace human workers. Top management at a real-life case study firm that manufactures a variety of eyeglasses lenses wants to implement cobots in the sorting process since such a repetitive task has been shown to have a significant negative influence on workers' ergonomic ailments. Its current procurement decision-making process focuses solely on financial perspectives without taking into account any other significant criteria. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate the elements that are crucial in deciding whether to use cobots in manufacturing lines., Multivariate statistical methods, comprising the exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), are applied to analyse the elements that are associated with the latent variables such as safety, ergonomics, productivity, quality, system, internal organisation and external organisation. In addition, alternative deployments of cobots in the case study are validated through the ARENA simulation software. More specifically, the results showed that using cobots in the workplace might boost output while lowering WIP, waiting times, the number of tasks in queue, and the workforce. In addition, cobots may reduce employee ergonomic risk and enhance workplace safety.
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