Payback Period for Industrial Robots

FANUC R2000ib 125L R30ia Motoman MA1400 FANUC M710ic 50 Motoman HP6 NX100 FANUC Arcmate 120ic
One of the most common questions about industrial robots is how much they will cost. Many companies base their final decision for whether or not to implement robotic automation on the purchase price of an industrial robot. Companies often get fixated on the startup costs associated with industrial robots instead of looking at how robots will add value to their productions. Instead of focusing one the initial investment, potential robot buyers should consider how long it will take for their investment to be repaid, which is also known as the payback period.

The payback period is the most common equation used to calculate the ROI (return on investment) of a robotic system. Determining the ROI of the ABB 6640 is critical for building a successful business case for implementing robotic automation. The cost of industrial robots can be expensive, but they pay for themselves in the long run through cost savings, higher productivity rates, faster cycle times, and better product quality.

So, what exactly is the payback period? The payback period is the amount of time it will take for buyers to earn back their initial investment in an industrial robot. Most robots pay back their investment within two years. The rate at which the payback period is met largely depends upon how expensive the robotic system is. A basic robotic setup with a single articulated robot and EAOT will cost less and can allow for a faster payback period. While complete robotic workcells can easily cost six figures which may mean a longer payback period. However, due to the efficiency of workcells the payback period may not be very long at all.

Calculating the payback period of the FANUC Arcmate 120ic and other six axis robots involves taking the total cost of the robot and dividing it by the monthly salary of the worker or workers it will be replacing. It is important to note the cost of the robot is more than only the robot purchase price. It includes the cost of extra equipment such as end-effectors, welding peripherals, robotic vision systems, and safety devices. It also includes any taxes, transportation fees, integration fees, and maintenance costs. For instance, if you purchased the ABB 4600 for $30,000, a robotic gripper for $4,000, safety fencing for $1,000, and spent $2,000 for shipping the total cost of the robotic system would be $37,000.

When calculating the monthly labor costs of the workers the robot will be replacing, the salary, benefits, shifts per day, employees per shift, downtime costs, and scrap costs should all be considered. This will provide buyers with the potential savings of robotic automation.

Calculating the payback period for the Yaskawa MA1440 allows potential buyers to see it is possible to recapture their investment. While implementing robotic automation may seem like a big investment, it is possible to earn that investment back which is all that should really matter. If a Motoman MH50 will deliver an ROI, then it is worth investing in. Once robots have recaptured their investment then the savings and earning potential become unlimited.

While the payback period is the most common ROI calculation, there are others that go into more depth in order to provide the total picture of the value of robotic automation by taking into consideration all tangible and intangible benefits.

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