Leveraging Robotics for Quality Control in Manufacturing

Robotics has long had a presence in manufacturing. It can keep workers safe from hazardous materials and enable continuous production lines. One of the ways it’s increasingly making a difference is in quality control.

This is actually a relatively new development. Technology has become advanced enough to the point at which machines are more precise and can automatically handle more tasks than ever before. That’s not to say that they’re likely to take over manufacturing anytime soon. 

Nevertheless, taking some time to recognize where these machines can play a role allows your business, employees, and customers to enjoy the benefits of better quality control. 

The Benefits of Robotics in Quality Control

Humans are undoubtedly essential for quality control. After all, professionals in this area have nuanced perspectives that they’ve built over years of experience. This doesn’t mean that robotics can’t be useful tools alongside these workers, too, though.

Some of the benefits of robotics in quality control situations include:

  • Higher accuracy rates: Robots in production processes can achieve a high level of accuracy. Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arms (SCARAs), in particular, are designed to perform fine material handling and assembly tasks quickly and with precision. This means that there’s potential to create large product volumes with fewer errors, contributing to better quality in the first place.
  • Faster error detection: Even with the high precision of robots, errors will occasionally occur. That said, the precision nature of robots often means that errors are spotted sooner than with manual quality control processes. This is particularly relevant for robots that are able to inspect their own work before products move to the next part of the assembly line. As a result, quality issues can be addressed faster.
  • Cost reductions: Robots naturally require a certain amount of investment. However, the speed with which they’re able to produce items at high-quality levels tends to mean that there’s greater efficiency. Not to mention that the better quality control that comes from using robots can result in fewer product returns and recalls. One report found that the average cost savings of businesses that implement robots is around 17.71%.

This information isn’t just important to know from the perspective of being persuaded to invest in robots for quality control reasons. It also gives you a good basis on which to make choices about the types of robots you choose. For instance, if real-time error detection is a priority to your business, you could direct investment to the aforementioned self-inspecting robots.

Adopting Robotics in a Practical Way

Knowing what robots can bring to quality control is all well and good. Nevertheless, they’re not automatically going to produce benefits just by their presence. It’s vital to take an organized and practical approach to adopting robots for quality control.


Transitioning from manual quality control and production methods to robotics has to be planned carefully. It’s wise to review the workflow to establish where your robots fit in and what other tasks they impact. You may be able to arrange installation for when the production floor is not in service. However, if you run 24-hour manufacturing, you may want to stagger installation to avoid all production lines being halted at the same time.


Another consideration is how human workers will interact with these robots. It may be the case that you’re adopting dedicated quality control assessment machines and need to train workers to both check the results and calibrate the machines. In some instances, manual quality control workers may need to be retrained in other areas if their roles have been replaced by robots. Arranging training as soon as possible helps to minimize disruptions and is important for maintaining safe operations. 


Taking good care of your robots helps to ensure that they continue to be effective in quality control for years to come. One of the best approaches is to adopt preventative maintenance procedures designed to extend the lifespan of equipment. This can include arranging for technicians to clean and lubricate machine parts in line with the manufacturer’s recommendations. 

Wherever possible, schedule these tasks for times of minimal activity to mitigate downtime. It’s also vital for technicians to inspect robots for signs of wear and tear, such as scratches caused by debris and ground-down ball bearings. This not only highlights repair needs before robots fail. It also helps to ensure the continued precision of these devices, which contributes to their value in quality control.

Utilizing Emerging Technologies

There are clearly some effective quality control robots available now. Yet, technology continues to advance at a rapid pace. There are already some tools that are starting to emerge that either independently perform quality control reviews or can be coupled with robots to improve their efficacy. 

For instance, machine vision is becoming more advanced. This means that high-definition cameras are installed in production robots so they can “see” the products they’re making. As technology improves in this area, more robots will be able to monitor their activities in real-time to ensure greater precision.

One of the most promising emerging tools for quality control in manufacturing is artificial intelligence (AI). AI can process huge volumes of information quickly and accurately. This means the software can analyze data fed from sensors in production machines in real-time, spotting errors immediately. 

Some AI software can also use machine learning algorithms to review machine performance and make predictions about how to improve efficiency and when to perform maintenance procedures. Even before robots are involved, generative AI tools can automate design modeling. This gives your company multiple product options to select from, so you can create the highest quality items.


Robots in manufacturing can contribute to quality control in various ways. Some of these involve directly assessing products, while others are involved with creating more precise items in the first place. Wherever possible, though, it’s important to take a human-first approach to implementing robots. 

Speak to your quality control workers about what tools they feel would be most useful and address concerns they might have regarding introducing robots. This helps to ensure your company gets a more holistically positive impact from technology.


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