Installation: How fast can you get your system or arm up and running?
The primary advantage of a turnkey workcell is ease of installation. When a robotic workcell arrives at your facility, all you have to do is run gas lines, wires, and power cables, program the system, and you are ready to go!
Furthermore, if you take advantage of RobotWorx' free training, you'll be able to program your robot system before it arrives at your facility, saving even more time and hassle. Since turnkey workcells install simply and quickly, they are the best solution for those who are new to robotics.
A single robot arm, on the other hand, requires more time and effort to install. If you are new to robotics, this may not be your best option. Programming can only be handled properly on-site, adding yet another delay to production. All of the peripherals, parts positioners, and safety equipment must be oriented and tested.
Floor Space Flexibility: Consider your space requirements and the level of adaptability you'd prefer.
If you need to add to a preexisting production line, a single robot arm is your best option. However, when it comes to portability, a robot arm configuration is much more difficult and time consuming to move than a compact turnkey workcell.
The typical workcell is constructed with a common base and forklift pockets for easy transporting. If your floorplan changes, you can move the entire robot system to a new location. Once again, a turnkey workcell saves time and effort.
Cost: Which option gives you more for your money?
At first glance, this seems like a no-brainer - a single robot arm is much cheaper than an entire workcell. It isn't that simple.
A robot arm may fit your budget at first, but when you start purchasing all the parts to go with it - safety elements, tooling, parts positioners, etc. - the total cost quickly exceeds that of a workcell. Labor costs to set-up, program, and monitor a robot arm are also much more.
A workcell is the most cost-effective way to get into robotics. In production, time is money. A robot workcell is a quick, complete solution that does not eat up production or worker schedules.
Workers: Workcell or robot arm - which fits your labor force better?
Workcells and robot arms require differing amounts of supervision and involvement. Monitoring/operating a workcell is simpler than keeping an eye on a single robot. Loading a workcell is often simpler than securing and feeding parts to a single robot arm.
Turnkey workcells and robot arms are different when it comes to worker safety as well. A single robot arm may have its own safety environment, but it can never be as fail-proof as a workcell's contained structure. Each workcell porovides a total safety environment including light curtains, safety locks, fencing, and most importantly - steel beams to frame it all.