Material Handling Robot Versus Manual Labor and Associated Costs

Oct 19, 2013

Automated material handling applications are offering companies a very fast ROI. offers an online ROI to potential customers so that they can quickly see how much money a robotic system will save them over the years. Furthermore, an automated material handling system will help to prevent injuries to human workers on the tedious and heavy-duty production line.

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 ($154 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, Robots​.com sells recon­di­tioned robot arms from Fanuc, Motoman, Uni­ver­sal Robots, KUKA, and ABB. These recon­di­tioned robots under­go rig­or­ous inspec­tions and test­ing to ensure that they per­form to indus­try standards. 

Con­tact a Robots​.com rep­re­sen­ta­tive today to begin automat­ing your mate­r­i­al han­dling application.

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