Material Handling Robot Versus Manual Labor and Associated Costs


Automated material handling applications provide advantages beyond simply saving workers’ backs and preventing injuries. It may not seem like it at first, but the return-on-investment (ROI) of automating material handling applications with industrial robots is immense. 

It is worth noting first that there are great tax write-off options now available through the Section 179 Federal Income Tax Deduction. We also try to keep things simple with our own ROI Calculator to help companies understand the true value of investing in a robot system. 

Robot Material Handling Cost Savings

It is generally accepted that one robot arm can do the work of four manual laborers. One good example of this is with material handling applications. Handling applications typically require at least four handlers. Each laborer makes $15/hour. If a manufacturer has these four laborers each working an eight hour shift ($15 x 4 laborers x 8 hours), the cost of the application would be $480 a shift.

In comparison, we will use $50,000 as the cost of a typical material handling robot system. While this might seem like a lot, this is a one time, initial cost -- as opposed to the continued cost of manual laborers. The system will also need one operator to load and unload parts, as well as starting the program at around $15/hour. The overall reduction of three workers alone results in great savings for the company who bought the robot. The four manual laborers, working five days a week and 52 weeks a year on one shift, would cost the company around $124,800, while the robot system would only cost the initial payment of $50,000 and an annual salary around $31,200 a year, showing a drastic reduction in production costs.

To further increase ROI options, RobotWorx sells reconditioned robot arms from FANUCMotomanUniversal RobotsKUKA, and ABB. These reconditioned robots undergo rigorous inspections and testing to ensure that they perform to industry standards. 

Contact a RobotWorx representative today to begin automating your material handling application.

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