I have consulted to a number of plants with recently acquired robots. Often the robots didn’t work very well. In some cases the robots were doing work that made little sense. In one case, the robot was taking a stamped part from a hanging line and putting it on a belt. It was so unreliable that a worker had to stand by to catch parts that were about to be dropped by the robot. Having the hanging line descend to just above the belt could have removed each part without a robot.
In a factory in Brazil, a robot cell had been installed to weld some parts together. A second cell was in the process of being installed. Management was very proud of it’s new technology. They had a five minute video of the robots in the dining room. The bright orange robotic arms waved through the air and set forth a shower of sparks with each weld. The dramatic video played endlessly, for all lunch breaks on all shifts to see.