Lowering Cost Per Product with Robotic Automation
Investing in robotic automation is a long-term strategy that pays for itself overtime. While the initial cost may have some companies hesitant to automate, industrial robots can earn their ROI relatively quickly. One of the ways robots are able to quickly realize a ROI is through reducing costs, particularly the cost per product.
While manual processes are relatively inexpensive to implement than a FANUC Arcmate 120ic, they actually increase the cost per product. Inconsistencies, high salaries, and poor product quality increase the costs associated with manufacturing products. With today’s highly competitive marketplace lowering the cost per product is crucial for company survival. Lowering product costs allows companies to offer products at competitive prices, retain more customers, and most importantly expand their profit margins. Automating productions with industrial robots will lower the cost per product through the following:
- • Reduced Material Waste - Material costs can be expensive, and they seem to only be increasing these days. The last thing companies need is wasted materials, but unfortunately material waste is common with manual labor. Human error is the biggest contributor to material waste. Workers are prone to mistakes, loosing concentration, and inconsistent work causing errors that lead to materials being scrapped. Articulated robots, however, are programmed for accuracy. They are able to stay within application parameters and replicate their work over and over, preventing errors and material waste.
- • Eliminate Rework - Rework is often necessary when a product does not meet quality standards either due to defects or poor manufacturing. Products must be disassembled, repaired, or replaced. The rework process involves using additional materials and more time to improve the product, both of which translate to higher costs. Robotic automation prevents rework. Robots operate with controlled, precise movements that ensure high-quality products. Industrial robots complete products correctly the first time.
- • Faster Cycle Times - Another factor that goes into the cost of manufacturing products is the amount of time it takes. The more time it takes to produce a product, the more money it will cost as it will take longer to reach consumers. It is crucial to keep cycle times consistent and as low as possible. Industrial robots are designed to operate at consistent, fast speeds, moving from part to part. The FANUC Lr Mate 200id can process multiple parts within a minute. The same task done manually may take several minutes to process one part. Faster cycle times reduce the cost of manufacturing products.
- • Reduced Labor Costs - Besides the materials and time it takes to manufacture a product, labor salaries must also be factored into the cost per product. Labor costs can be very expensive, especially if it is for a skilled position such as a welder. Salaries can significantly increase costs per product, and they must be continuously paid. Industrial robots eliminate labor costs as there are no salaries to pay. The main cost associated with a robot is its initial purchase price. Saving on worker salaries and benefits significantly lowers the cost per product. Despite the Motoman MA1440 costing more upfront, in the long run it will save companies money by forgoing labor costs.