Industrial Robots: An Alternative to Offshoring

Oct 25, 2010

Industrial robots are providing a viable alternative to offshoring. They are providing less risk and zero hidden costs. Industrial robots are providing the ticket to survival on home soil with these benefits. ​


Faced with the pres­sure to pro­duce high qual­i­ty prod­ucts at low­er and low­er costs, many Amer­i­can com­pa­nies have decid­ed to set up pro­duc­tion over­seas. How­ev­er, despite the lure of cheap­er labor in loca­tions like Chi­na, Tai­wan, and India, off­shoring isn’t with­out draw­backs.

If you think off­shoring is the only option to keep your busi­ness alive and ahead of the com­pe­ti­tion, you’re wrong. Robot­ic automa­tion pro­vides a viable alter­na­tive. There’s less risk and none of the hid­den costs com­mon­ly asso­ci­at­ed with off­shoring. Robots could be your com­pa­ny’s tick­et to sur­vival on home soil.

A New Trend: Reshoring

In light of increas­ing prob­lems with off­shoring, some com­pa­nies are start­ing to return man­u­fac­tur­ing and ser­vice jobs to the U.S. This new move­ment goes by many names, includ­ing reshoring, onshoring, and insourc­ing. Accord­ing to a recent report from CNBC, Cater­pil­lar is think­ing about this option, and Gen­er­al Elec­tric, Wham‑O, and Ortho Mat­tress are return­ing pro­duc­tion to the states after real­iz­ing the many advantages.

The Ben­e­fits of Onshoring with Robots: 

Quick return on invest­ment (ROI) — Although robots require an ini­tial invest­ment, they quick­ly pay for them­selves. A robot­ic weld­ing sys­tem for exam­ple, is capa­ble of doing the work of as many as four man­u­al welders. Take a look at the robot ROI cal­cu­la­tor.

Reli­able Qual­i­ty — Indus­tri­al robot per­for­mance is con­sis­tent, quick, and repeat­able. With the intro­duc­tion of robots expect to improve prod­uct qual­i­ty significantly.

Cycle Times — Robots are capa­ble of pro­vid­ing effi­cient, con­sis­tent pro­duc­tion speeds. The result­ing through­put is much more cal­cu­lat­able. Plus, robots can work 247.

Flex­i­bil­i­ty — Ever flex­i­ble and quick to repro­gram, robots can accom­mo­date prod­uct, pack­ag­ing, and a host of oth­er changes to design and application.

Less Waste — Robots are envi­ron­men­tal­ly-friend­ly. They can work in lights out facil­i­ties and their effi­cien­cy and repeata­bil­i­ty min­i­miz­ing waste.

Jobs, Stronger Econ­o­my — Amer­i­can com­pa­nies have been off­shoring for decades and it is tak­ing its toll. It has con­tributed to Amer­i­ca’s soar­ing unem­ploy­ment rates, which are cur­rent­ly hov­er­ing just below 10% (BLS). Robots allow you to be a part of the nation’s eco­nom­ic recovery.

Tax Ben­e­fits - The recent­ly passed Small Busi­ness Jobs Act, which includes the Sec­tion 179 pro­vi­sion, makes it even more ben­e­fi­cial to invest in robots now.

Still weigh­ing the pros and cons? Let’s take a clos­er look at some of the dif­fi­cul­ties that go along with off­shoring a business.

The Siren’s Call: Dis­ad­van­tages of Offshoring

Off­shoring is far from risk-free. Com­pa­nies that choose to off­shore often face unex­pect­ed dif­fi­cul­ties and costs. If you’re con­sid­er­ing this option, make sure to check your math and make sure it’s real­ly as good a deal as it seems at first.

Ship­ping-relat­ed Risks: Lost car­go issues; Delays in deliv­ery; On the water costs.

Host Coun­try Risks: Gov­ern­ment insta­bil­i­ty; Exchange rates chang­ing over time; Lan­guage bar­ri­ers; Qual­i­ty man­age­ment long-dis­tance; Long lead times; Poten­tial­ly train­ing com­peti­tors; Wage increas­es (most recent­ly in China).

For more infor­ma­tion about re-shoring, on-shoring, or in-sourc­ing with indus­tri­al robots, con­tact Robots​.com online or at 8777626881.

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