Pros and Cons of Robotic Automation
Robotic automation involves converting manual tasks into automatic processes through the use of industrial robots. Robotic automation is becoming the standard practice when it comes to manufacturing. Production lines are being overtaken by robots like the FANUC Arcmate 120ic or the Yaskawa MH180. Manufacturers are realizing they can no longer avoid automation as the benefits of robotic automation greatly outweigh the cons.
Pros of Robotic Automation
- • More Efficient - Industrial robots are designed for high repeatability and precision. These features allow them to complete production processes more efficiently than humans or other machinery. Each workpiece is completed in less time and more accurately with industrial robots.
- • Long Work Hours - Industrial robots can operate twenty-four hours a day with no breaks or delays. Automating with the FANUC LR Mate 200id turns an assembly line from an eight to twelve-hour operation into one that runs around the clock. With longer operation hours productivity increases and becomes consistent.
- • Conserve Materials - Material waste can be a big concern when trying to stay within budget, especially with the rising costs of raw goods. Industrial robots significantly reduce material waste with their high repeatability and precision. Errors are avoided helping to conserve materials and eliminate rework.
- • Handle Dangerous Tasks - Many manufacturing jobs involve working in dangerous environments or with hazardous chemicals. Robotic automation removes workers from conditions that could be detrimental to their health and safety. Articulated robots featuring high IP ratings are designed to handle dangerous conditions without incident.
- • Versatile - Industrial robots are incredibly versatile as they can automate multiple types of applications. The FANUC M-20ia can automate and entire sequence of tasks within a production cycle. A single six axis robot can handle the workload of several workers, reducing the labor and peripheral equipment needed for manufacturing.
- • Higher Product Quality - Implementing robotic automation will result in higher quality products. Robots are not error prone like humans. Their precision ensures all parts are uniform and completed accurately resulting in high-quality products.
- • Long Lifespan - Industrial robots have long lifespans which allows them to be in operation for decades. Their versatility and longevity allow them to automate multiple projects over their lifetime.
- • Expands Profit Potential - Robotic automation allows manufacturers to expand their profit potential. Robots reduce resources and cycle times while their high product quality and increased productivity all translate to lower costs per product for greater profitability.
Cons of Robotic Automation
- • High Startup Costs - Purchasing a robotic automation system can be a big investment. However, companies can quickly realize their ROI with faster cycle times, higher productivity, and lower costs. Purchasing a second-hand industrial robot is a more cost-effective means to automate. There are many high-quality used robots including the ABB 2400L.
- • Downtime for Installation/Training - There may be some downtime in your productions for installing your robotic system and training your employees. However, the efficiency of your robotic automation system can make up for any time lost.
- • Job Loss - One of the biggest concerns for employees with the implementation of robotic automation is job loss. However, this is not always the case as many manufacturers still require workers to maintain and operate their robotic systems. Robotic automation creates safer and more desirable positions for workers.