Questions to Ask When Implementing Robotic Automation

FANUC R2000ib 125L R30ia Motoman MA1400 FANUC M710ic 50 Motoman HP6 NX100 FANUC Arcmate 120ic
Implementing robotic automation has become a necessary reality for companies in order to remain competitive. High costs, worker shortages, and the global marketplace have made relying solely on manual labor obsolete. Today’s factories are incorporating more and more industrial robots with many moving towards a lights-out approach. While converting a manual application to an automated one may seem overwhelming, properly preparing for the switch will ensure a smooth transition. Below is a list of questions to ask when implementing robotic automation.

  • 1. What process or processes am I automating? The first step in implementing robotic automation is to determine which processes you are going to automate. Knowing your robotic application will narrow down the type of robot you will need and ensure you select a robot that you can benefit from. If you are automating an assembly process, then you will likely need a FANUC M-10ia or another material handling robot. Evaluating your manufacturing operation can help you determine which processes can benefit from robotic automation. Any areas of your manufacturing causing bottlenecks, dangerous tasks, or tedious processes can benefit from robotic automation.

  • 2. Are these processes repeatable or do they vary? Once you have narrowed down your application you will need to determine if it’s a repeatable process or if it varies. Repeatable processes are those in which the same steps and parts are involved with every cycle. Industrial robots excel at highly repeatable processes. That does not mean articulated robots cannot automate processes what vary. It just means you may need to integrate your robot with additional equipment. If your application involves a mix of parts, integrating the Motoman MH50 with a robotic vision system will allow for successful automation.

  • 3. What is the work environment? Evaluating the work environment will help you plan for the space needed for your robot along with any special options. If it’s a large work area an extended reach robot may be needed. If the work environment involves hazards such as dust a high IP rated robot like the FANUC M-710ic/50 will be needed.

  • 4. What materials/parts are involved? Considering the materials and types of parts your robot will be working with is important. Large or heavy parts will likely require a high payload robot. While light or delicate materials would be best handled by a small, low payload robot.

  • 5. What is the budget? Understanding your budget for automating will help determine what you will be able to afford. Robotic automation helps users save money in the long run, but it does require an initial investment. Buying a used robot is a cost-effective way to automate and provides the same benefits as new robots. The ABB 4600-40 and Yaskawa MA1440 are two high-quality robots that can often be found on the second-hand market.

  • 6. Who will be operating the robot? Determining who will be responsible for operating and maintaining your robotic system. Employees will need to be properly trained on programming, operating, and maintaining the robot. Training is key to ensuring a safe work environment along with successful automation of your production process.

Robots Done Right is the place to start when it comes to used robots. Contact us if you are interested in buying or selling a used robot.