Are Used Robots Viable Replacements?
Many companies that utilize industrial robots in their operations opt to purchase used robots rather than new robots for multiple reasons. Whether the company uses FANUC robots, Yaskawa Motoman robots, KUKA robots, ABB robots, or another source of robotic automation, the used robotic market can be a great source for equipment. Purchasing a used robot can have several advantages over purchasing a new robot such as:
In either scenario, additional advantages of purchasing a used robot include:
- Decreased Lead Time – Many used robot dealers stock robots that are ready to ship. In the event a robot malfunctions or breaks causing operations to halt, obtaining a used replacement is likely the quickest option to get production back up and running. In example, while the lead time for a Motoman MH6 robot with a Yaskawa DX200 controller could be 8-10 weeks, a used Motoman MH6 robot with a Yaskawa DX100 controller is likely immediately available on the used market and can be to a company’s facility within a week. Some lesser produced robots such as the FANUC M-2000ia could have a lead time of up to a year.
- Ease of integration – Replacing an used industrial robot with a refurbished robot is a simple plug and play scenario in most cases. Integration of a new robot that is different than the existing robot consumes time and resources, while halting production at an unscheduled period. When part of a production line including other sources of automation, one down robot can shut down production all together. In many instances, new robots will differ than the robots already integrated in a robotic welding application. In example, if a company has a line that includes a FANUC Arcmate 120ib robot with a RJ3IB controller integrated with a Lincoln Powerwave 455M welder, replacing this robot with a FANUC Arcmate 120ic robot with a FANUC R30ib controller integrated with a Lincoln Powerwave i400 welder will require new time to set up and programming of the robot. Using the used FANUC Arcmate 120ib robot integrated with a Lincoln Powerwave 455M welder will allow the company to install the robotic arm in the same place and setup of the previous arm without reprograming. In most cases FANUC will not stock an older robot such as the Arc mate 120ib therefore the used market is the only place to obtain one. This same scenario would hold true in the event a company was trying to replace a used Arcmate 100ib with FANUC RJ3IB controller with a new or used FANUC Arcmate 100ic with an FANUC R-30ib controller.
- Affordability – The cost of a used FANUC robot is often up to 50% lower than the cost of a new FANUC robot. Whether a company is interested in lowering capital expenditures or has a project that requires a lower up front cost, utilizing used FANUC robots might be the right fit. Many companies use production lines that have a lifespan that is limited to the good that it is producing. If it is known ahead of time that the production line is only going to last for 5 years, using a used industrial robot rather than a new industrial robot will not only result in a lower startup cost, but will lower the amount of book value and respective depreciation to amortize the equipment over the shorter lifespan. For instance, a used FANUC M20ia robot with a FANUC R30ia controller can range anywhere from $26,000 to $35,000, depending on the exact condition of the unit. A new FANUC M20ia with an FANUC R30ib controller can be anywhere between $50,000 to $60,000. Selecting the used M-20ia would produce the same result while maximizing the return on investment.
- Shorter Training Period – In order for industrial robots to function correctly in the workplace, it is necessary for companies to employ technicians familiar with the robots. The controller/operation on a FANUC R-J3IB controlled robot is different that the controller/operation on an R-30ib controlled robot. If a company was replacing a FANUC M-16ib with R-J3IB controller with a new FANUC M-20ia robot with an R-30iB controller, they would need a technician with an understanding of the R30ib platform
Whether purchased new or used, the purchase of an industrial robot to automate a production line or process can be a substantial benefit to any company looking to increase their productivity level. Please direct any inquiries on this article to firstname.lastname@example.org.