If your business is considering automating your facility with collaborative robots then you’ve most likely worked to calculate your Return on Investment (ROI). When you think of collaborative robots, you might immediately think of increased productivity and reduced hands-on involvement, and you’d be right. But calculating ROI and the impact that the robot can have on your bottom line requires a deeper dive.
Traditionally, calculating automation ROI would consist of determining how much the system will cost and then comparing that to the salary of the employee plus overhead. However, to accurately calculate the expense of the robot, you must consider the upfront investment, the cost of accessories, training, warranty, maintenance and employee related expenses. When further analyzing, you must also consider the benefits of investing in automation, and the short-term and long-term impacts that will have and the savings it will create.
In this article, we will walk you through the factors to consider to help you determine the right collaborative robot for your business and your budget.
With the increase of robot suppliers, a simple formula to calculate your ROI is unrealistic. To determine the capital expense of your CoBot you have to start by defining the specifications of your desired solution. In addition, it is important to understand the benefits and limitations of each supplier and use those factors to determine how the investment will ultimately impact your operations.
For this article, we will focus on one of the most user-friendly CoBots on the market, Techman Robot. Priced competitively with other robot manufacturers, the TM5-900 has a payload of 4kg and a reach of 900mm. It was designed with robot-human cooperation in mind and features force limiting and rounded edges for safety. The differentiator for TM Robot is all of its robots feature a built-in vision system, which enables more flexible deployments and simplifies the setup process.
Techman Robot’s Plug & Play™ technology enables their robots to seamlessly connect to multiple peripheral products, like those from OnRobot, Schunk, ATI, Robotiq and TOYO, and comes as a standard component. Being able to easily connect grippers and other end effectors saves time and money, but it also allows users to purchase the component that best fits their budget and their requirements.
When selecting any automation supplier, it’s important to consider the level of support they offer and the associated costs. Do they offer in-person training? Do they have support documentation and communities? Are there local representatives near you to help with issues or recommend best practices? Also consider the maintenance costs and the warranty policy to make sure you protect your investment long term.
INCREASE IN PRODUCTION
After the past year, automating your facility has become more relevant than ever. With social distancing and closures due to staffing shortages, businesses have been forced to reevaluate their operations continuity plans and learn to adapt to an ever changing landscape. Deploying a collaborative robot has the potential to increase efficiency, improve the quality of products and enable flexibility.
For example, robots can be deployed to complete repetitive tasks with precision and accuracy around the clock to keep operations running. Ultimately this improves the quality of the product and shortens the time it takes to deliver products to your customers. In addition, with fewer errors and more consistent production, fewer parts are scrapped due to operator error saving the business money.
The ability to scale production and pivot based on the market demand has proven to be critical for many manufacturers in the last year. CoBots offer an affordable solution for flexible operations. They can easily be deployed and redeployed from task to task giving the manufacturer flexibility to meet market demand in real time.
Automating repetitive tasks enables businesses to maximize their greatest asset – it’s people. With the ease of programming, businesses no longer have to employ specially trained engineers to set up and maintain the CoBot, resulting in savings on recruitment and training. But, implementing a CoBot also improves employee retention. Employees are relieved of repetitive tasks to focus on more challenging work that ultimately add more value to the business and contribute to worker satisfaction.
CoBots also impact ROI by removing employees from dangerous tasks or tasks that take place in a hazardous environment. By deploying CoBots to these undesirable working conditions, business benefit from savings due to OSHA fines or workers’ compensation claims.
These multi-faceted benefits are what make it so hard to capture a specific dollar amount when it comes to implementing a collaborative robot. However, these bottom-line advantages provide the most realistic overall picture of why automating your facility can make your business safer and more competitive. To learn more about how collaborative robots can benefit your business, visit our website at www.accu-techusa.com or email us at email@example.com.
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About the Author
Ed Lee is the founder and president of Accu Tech USA, the largest provider of automation and motion solutions in North America. With more than 30 years in the industrial automation space, Ed is committed to helping customers acquire the technology solutions they need to improve productivity while fitting their budget.