Lean Manufacturing with Robots
Lean manufacturing involves minimizing waste while improving productivity during the production of goods. With lean manufacturing there are two main goals. One is to focus on customer satisfaction while the other is to improve profitability. Both of these goals are achieved when waste is reduced. The less waste a manufacturing process has the more efficient it will be, allowing for more products to be produced with better quality at competitive prices for customers. Customer satisfaction will move products faster, improving profitability. Lean manufacturing has become necessary for manufacturers to remain competitive in today’s fast-paced global market.
Achieving lean manufacturing can be difficult through traditional manufacturing methods. Many companies are turning to industrial robots to improve their productions. Automating with robots creates lean manufacturing through the following:
- • Reduces Human Interaction - Reducing or eliminating human interactions in manufacturing will lead to lean manufacturing. Humans are error prone. Human errors can lead to rework, wasted materials, and longer cycle times. They are inconsistent with both product quality and production times. Industrial robots are extremely accurate, completing tasks correctly with one cycle run, conserving materials. Automating with the FANUC Arcmate 120ic brings consistency to product quality as its high repeatability ensures all parts are uniform. Automating with the FANUC welding robot creates to an overall efficient manufacturing process.
- • Improves Quality - Since articulated robots are programmed to follow specific instructions and have high repeatability, all products produced are high-quality. Their accuracy prevents parts from becoming damaged or defective. Customer satisfaction will improve when they see they are buying a high-quality product which will keep them coming back. Higher quality products will help keep your inventory moving instead of sitting idle due to slow sales, another key aspect of lean manufacturing.
- • Faster Cycle Times - Robots operate at much faster speeds than humans. They have higher uptimes since they do not require breaks or stoppages because of shift changes. Robots operate around the clock moving from part to part quickly. The elimination of errors and rework combined with fast operation times significantly speeds up cycle times and increases productivity. Products are able to move from raw materials to finished goods in less time, allowing them to reach consumers much faster.
- • Reduces Costs - Excessive waste is one of the biggest drivers behind high production costs. Implementing industrial robots cuts down on waste for materials and production times, reducing costs. Robots are cheaper to operate in the long run than workers as they do not have a salary or benefits. Their increased productivity allows more products to be manufactured in less time. With industrial robots the cost to produce goods will decrease, allowing companies to sell their products at more competitive prices for better customer retention and increased profit potential.
- • Multipurpose Capabilities - Robots are multipurpose as they can automate several types of applications. One FANUC M-20ia can automate a sequence of tasks for an entire production cycle. This streamlines manufacturing, reducing the amount of equipment and people needed. Idle times are avoided as multipurpose robots can always be operating, moving from task to task.