As technology progresses, rising labor costs and increased competition demand the need for automation. However, several important factors must be considered before automating a factory or assembly process.
The return on investment should be the first factor to consider when automating a new or current process. How long will it take to pay back the initial investment on robots and automation equipment? With technology improvements and cost reductions, ROI is likely to be measured in months instead of years. An estimate should be made of the company’s current costs of production and then compared to an automated robotic solution for a ballpark figure of how long it will take to achieve payback. Robot vendors and system integrators can help with these calculations.
The most successful automated robotic solutions are reserved for companies that have a complete understanding of their current process. If the company is extremely knowledgeable about the application, a robot vendor or system integrator can design ideal automated robotic solutions. Therefore, it is crucial to know the current process before attempting to automate.
There must be a clear motivating factor for automating. There are several reasons that automation is beneficial, such as increasing productivity, lowering costs, and improving quality. The motivating factors should be specific, so that one factor does not overshadow the rest, which could prove detrimental to other aspects of the company.
Finally, research into robots is essential. Specs might not cover all aspects of what a robot can do. Each specific application demands more information. Payloads, reach, and cycle times are all important to know when researching robots. Simply because a robot has a certain cycle time does not mean it can complete the company’s specific application in that amount of time. If an application is simulated, the cycle times will be more specific to the company’s preferred process.
RobotWorx can help you decide which robot would be best for automating your production processes providing the most efficient facility you can have. Contact us at 740-251-4312 for more information.