Instant profit from your robot integration
Implementing a complete robot integration often requires a significant investment. Not only the robot itself, but also the grippers, cell, software, and any integration into the existing line come with costs. The return on investment (ROI) is often used to measure the payback period, after which the robot becomes profitable. However, looking only at the ROI does not do justice to the investment. The use of a robot has direct benefits in many areas, such as for your employees, efficiency, and customer satisfaction.
1. Improved working conditions
The fear that robots will take over our jobs is usually unfounded. Industrial robots help to make work more enjoyable! Humans and robots have different skills in which they excel or find satisfaction. Robots are strong in repetitive and monotonous tasks, while humans are versatile and seek more variety in their work.
Happy and satisfied employees are essential for any company: motivation and efficiency increase, absenteeism decreases, staff turnover reduces, and hiring new personnel becomes easier.
1. Taking over repetitive tasks
As previously stated, one of the robot’s strongest qualities is taking over repetitive and monotonous work. A robot can perform the same actions endlessly according to the same standards. There are two main reasons why this work can be done better by a robot:
- Repetitive and unchallenging work becomes obsolete for production employees. This means that employees can focus on tasks that have more variety and challenge.
- Quality assurance by an untiring robot. We will return to this topic later regarding efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Employees do not become redundant after the implementation of a robot integration; instead, you need them! Operating the robot integration requires skills that people are good at, a combination of manual tasks, overseeing and analyzing situations, and making decisions based on that. With training or a short course, most production employees can be retrained as operators, with the significant advantage that they already know the product and the process inside and out.
2. Taking over strenuous tasks
In addition to repetitive work, a robot can also be used to reduce physical strain on employees. A robot arm can move heavy parts or perform repeated, strenuous maneuvers. Visually taxing tasks can also be performed by a robot arm, such as using a robot arm combined with a vision system for picking and placing small parts.
3. Staff shortages become staff sufficiency
Automation requires fewer employees to produce the same output. This is great in times of labour scarcity. When an employee leaves, they may not need to be replaced. Additionally, as an employer, you become more attractive as you can offer challenging positions, not just as a production worker on an assembly line, but as a robot operator for an entire line.
Fewer employees needed + more employees who want to work for you = plenty of employees
2. Increased efficiency
1. Continuous production
A robot integration can be operational 24/7 with a constant output. Naturally, operators are still needed to operate the line, but less labour is required than in manual production. In many cases, a production line can run unattended for a certain period. Depending on the situation, this can be a few minutes, enough for the operator to take a break, to several days, enough to bridge a weekend. The required labour input is also lower because one operator can now do the work of several production employees. Employees can work in shifts, for example, to further increase production time.
The constant output also increases capacity. Production workers may become tired after a few hours of work, causing the pace to slow down, and breaks create interruptions in the work. On the other hand, above-average productive employees do not reach their full potential because the average pace is determined by all employees, which can lead to bottlenecks or unwanted intermediate stocks.
With a constant output, intermediate stocks are no longer necessary because the capacity of the production line is known in advance. The different production steps can be more tightly coordinated with each other, reducing the total cycle time of a product.
2. Quality assurance
In addition to increased capacity, production efficiency is also increased by more consistent quality. Robot integration often has built-in functionalities for error prevention. Incorrect actions or operations are not possible, whereas they are in manual production. Defective products can still be produced, but the variation in errors is smaller.
In addition, robot integration is often equipped with output quality control. By managing this wisely, errors in the output can be detected early on (see our article on inline quality control).
Improved quality results in fewer rejected products, and therefore less waste of materials, production time, and labour.
3. Higher customer satisfaction
With quality assurance and constant capacity, you can make better promises to the customer as a supplier. You can give realistic delivery times due to the constant output. In addition, production has become more efficient, and you can probably deliver products faster than before. The constant quality is also good for the customer, as fewer defective products are delivered, and the defects that do occur are limited in variation.
The increased efficiency of production and lower production costs can also be passed on to the customer. By lowering prices for the customer or keeping them the same for longer, in combination with faster delivery times and higher quality assurance, customer satisfaction is sure to increase.
Starting with robot integration
For optimal performance of an industrial robot, good and complete integration into the production process is a must. The direct benefit is only achieved when the robot can seamlessly collaborate with surrounding machines and systems. Would you like more information on complete robot integration? Then take a look at our page on robotisation.