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The Human Side of Robots?

Human Impact




Published on

Nov 16, 2023

Robots and Humans Impact Each Other, So There is a Human Side to Robots.

Read Time: Less than 2 minutes

Word Count: 490 Words

Key Takeaway: Robots can impact humans in ways that may surprise you.

The other day I was watching a top-tier machinist work. He is a real craftsman. He loves running complicated parts because he loves solving puzzles. He wants the parts jobs that no one else wants.

The more complicated the programming, the more he enjoys the challenge. He puts his soul into it because the parts that he produces reflect his craftsmanship. Pride of workmanship is a high value for him.

As we talked, he casually mentioned how much he loved having the robot because it made him a better programmer.

Programming the robot is easy; it only takes five minutes.

In reality, it isn’t even really programming the robot. You enter the raw and finished parts dimensions and select the air blow-out pattern. That isn’t programming. There is no code to write. No lines of code to select. There is no wheel on the pendant to jog.

I asked him, “How can that make you a better programmer?”

I was confused.

He said that before the robot, he would work on two machines. One CNC would be running parts, and he’d be programming the other.

He’d have to listen for the beep every five minutes to tend the running CNC. That interruption derailed his train of thought and impacted his programming.

Sometimes he’d be interrupted and would make a mistake. Sometimes the mistake would be a missed dimension on a part, so you end up with scrap. The cost of errors adds up.

Sometimes the mistake results in a broken cutting tool or worse.

Mistakes are costly, whether it is a scrap piece, a programming error, or a broken cutting tool.

But there was a bigger cost – the mistakes hurt his pride in workmanship.

That is the human side of robots. Robots can make humans better at what they do. Having the robot in place freed him from the interruption of having to tend the machine.

How often are you in the middle of an important thought, and the phone rings, or someone walks into your office and interrupts your thought? How quickly and how well do you get back into the thought you were considering?

That ability to focus without interruption improved his programming. He is much happier because he doesn’t have the potential for mistakes hanging over his head. Now he can immerse himself in programming the job and make the parts that need to be made.

When you are a talented machinist and take pride in your work, being able to be more productive matters to you, your company, and your customers.

If you are thinking about adding a robot to your machine shop, ask your machinist if this would help or hurt their programming and their productivity.

That is the human side of robots that isn't always talked about.

Ready to explore productivity increases in your shop?

Call us at 866-952-9020 and then press 1 to start the conversation.

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