Maximizing the Benefits of Robotic Automation
There are many benefits of automating production processes with industrial robots. Some of the main ones include lower costs, increased productivity, improved product quality, safer operations, and more efficient processes to name a few. However, to get the most value from robotic automation you want to ensure you are maximizing the benefits. The following are some tips and considerations to do just that.
- • Evaluate processes that can be automated - One of the keys to successful robotic automation is to automate processes that will be appropriate for industrial robots to perform. The most successful robotic applications are those that are highly repetitive. The FANUC LR Mate 200id excels at repeating the same processes over and over. However, if your application involves more variables that does not mean it cannot be automated. Advancements in robotic technology has allowed articulated robots to automate more complex and less repetitive applications, you just may need to invest in additional equipment such as a robotic vision system.
- • Ensure robot meets application requirements - Just as it is important to ensure your application can be automated it is equally as important to ensure your robot meets the requirements of your application. More complex processes will require a six-axis robot while simpler processes will likely be okay for a low-DOF robot. EOAT and workpiece weight need to be considered to ensure the robot’s payload meets the maximum load capacity for the application. Reach and repeatability also need to be considered. If your robot is performing a specific task such as welding automation, ensure it is capable of that task.
- • Consider buying used - One of the main benefits of robotic automation is lower costs which allow for expanded profit potential. Buying a used robot allows users to save significantly on automating to obtain a faster ROI and start expanding profit potential sooner. Used robots generally provide the same benefits as new robots. There are many high-quality second-hand robots including the FANUC Arcmate 120ic and Motoman MA1440.
- • Invest in multiple robots - Implementing multiple robots can maximize productivity, optimize cycle times, and improve quality. Eliminating as much human interaction as possible reduces errors, inconsistencies, and unplanned delays. Factories that run mainly on industrial robots can run operations around the clock significantly increasing throughput and productivity. Those concerned about the cost of investing in multiple robots should consider buying used robots. The savings of used robots provides a more cost-effective means to automating an entire production line.
- • Consider a workcell - Implementing a robotic workcell can optimize the operation of a robot system. Workcells enhance the safety and performance of industrial robots. Workcells enclose six axis robots and feature multiple safety devices, protecting any floor workers. Since the robot is enclosed in the workcell it can operate at full speed with no speed regulations decreasing cycle times and increasing productivity.
- • Conduct routine maintenance - Conducting routine maintenance on your industrial robot will protect your investment. Maintenance ensures robots remain operating at optimal performance levels and extends their lifespan. Maintenance guarantees industrial robots consistently operate to their full potential for several years.