Fear is a common reaction for both medium and small-sized companies who have to automate with a small industrial robot in order to stay ahead of the game. A good example of such is a Troy, Michigan- based automotive Tier 1 company known as Vickers Engineering. This contract manufacturer and precision machining company is a supplier to Honda, Toyota and GM as well as other Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) customers.
Vickers Engineering and many other companies like it have to make the do-or-die decision of choosing to automate with industrial robots if they want to meet the needs of their customers. If you are experiencing the same then this article is for you. You should know that your employees will first react fearfully to the idea of incorporating robots to their workspaces. This is because many people who work in industries believe that robotic automation results in staff layoffs.
Even though the initial thought is that people are going to lose their jobs, with proper structuring none of your employees will have to be laid off. While some job positions will be lost, new roles will be created. Here are some reasons why your company should start automating with small industrial robots.
Small industrial robots are cost effective
Small industrial robots attain their cost effectiveness through the many advantages they provide over human labor. If maintained properly, industrial robots never lose focus neither do they need to rest, they also rarely make mistakes unlike humans. Robotics solutions can often run 24/7 without maintenance or special supervision. As a result, this offsets the initial cost in investment into a robotic solution for manufacturing processes over time.
In addition, manufacturers get to reduce costs by keeping production close to their consumer base. Also, with robotic automation you get to produce greater volumes which increases speed you get to respond to your customers demand more quickly. Since small industrial robots support adaptable programming, you can multipurpose them for changing applications.
Small industrial robots save labor through repeatability and high precision
If you are new to this then you should know that small industrial robots have the ability to automate almost anything. Here are some of the most common applications:
- Arc and spot welding
- Inspection and measurement
- High precision
- Material removal (drilling, cutting, deburring, grinding, etc.)
- Machine tool loading and unloading
- Pick and place
- Part transfer
In these roles, industrial robots then effectively free humans from exhaustive tasks involving extreme levels of concentration and heavy lifting as well as remove them from dangerous environments some of which are contaminated with dust, solvents, heat and noise.
Since small industrial robots also offer a great degree of flexibility, you can utilize your human staff for more skill oriented and complex tasks. Industrial robots are most commonly used in industries dealing with food and beverage, automation and aerospace among other. This is because there are so many customers to serve in those industries, just make sure you choose the right robot that fits your specific application.
Small industrial robots work alongside humans
There is great need for safety for working with industrial robots thus the creation of collaborative robots also known as cobots. Compared to their counterparts, cobots come in smaller sizes and are designed with smart sensor technology to make them safe enough to work more closely with humans. Therefore, they don’t require a large amount of valuable floor space for caged or fenced work cells.
Since automation goes beyond industrial robotics, it is crucial that you distinguish your application as well as its needs. When automating with industrial robots for the first time, you will not only incur downtime costs but you must also consider training your staff so that you don’t get to hire new ones. Remember, the bottom line of automation is not cause fear and chaos in your company but to enhance productivity.