What are the Intangible Benefits of Robotic Automation?

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When considering implementing robotic automation, many companies want to know how it will benefit their operations. Potential robotic users often turn to ROI calculations to determine if an industrial robot or robots will be beneficial. Many ROI calculations solely focus on tangible benefits such as labor cost savings while ignoring the intangible benefits. In order to get a real understanding of the true value of automating with the FANUC M-10ia, benefits that may not necessarily be measurable should also be considered. Looking at both types of benefits will allow companies to see the short-term and long-term value of a robotic system.

Some of the key intangible benefits of robotic automation include:

  • • Safer Work Environment - Implementing robotic automation will improve the ergonomics of your factory creating a safer work environment for your employees. Robots can easily automate hazardous jobs, removing workers from facing daily risks to their safety. Automating material handling with the ABB IRB 6640 removes workers from repetitive motions that can cause fatigue and stress injuries. With robotic automation workers compensation and disability claims decrease. Work related accidents that can delay or stop productions are avoided.

  • • Greater Manufacturing Flexibility - With robotic automation companies will gain greater manufacturing flexibility. Articulated robots can easily adapt to program, application, and process changes. By simply reprogramming them they can take on new processes or parts. This allows for fast changeovers. The ABB 2600-20/1.65 can be used for multiple projects with its multipurpose capabilities. The flexibility of robotic automation allows companies to respond and meet changing consumer demands without having to completely overhaul their operations or retrain employees.

  • • Error Mitigation - Industrial robots are extremely accurate and are designed for high repeatability. They are programmed to follow application instructions over and over without any deviation from part to part. Humans on the other hand, are not accurate as they can easily lose concentration, become distracted, or tire. Even when they are focused it is impossible for a human to replicate their motions like a robot can. Automating with robots mitigates errors by removing human involvement. Product quality improves while material waste is significantly reduced.

  • • More Available Floorspace - Industrial robots can streamline production floors by eliminating large, bulky machinery and excessive personnel. A single FANUC Arcmate 120ic can handle the workload of multiple workers. Six axis robots also tend to have a more compact footprint than many other types of manufacturing machinery. There are also robots that have options for mounting such as overhead, tabletop, or wall. With the space efficiency of robots, companies will have more free space that can be used for more critical operations of the business.

  • • Improves Workforce - Moving workers away from dull, repetitive, and dangerous jobs and into more critical roles will improve the overall quality of your workforce. Robots can automate the undesirable jobs while workers can take on more valuable and rewarding positions. This can improve employee satisfaction along with worker engagement while reducing turnover.

  • • More Consistent Operations - With robotic automation operations become more consistent and reliable. Unplanned stoppages are rare as issues such as worker shortages, accidents, and non-value activities are mostly avoided. Production uptime increases allowing for greater productivity.

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