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Can I Afford Robots and Automation?

November 20, 2018

Can I Afford Robots and Automation?

In today’s manufacturing environment, small and medium-sized shops are challenged to automate their production lines in order to compete with larger companies. The perception has always been that robotic automation required a hefty investment, so with an economic headstart, only large companies with deep pockets were able to introduce advanced technologies to their processes. Luckily for smaller companies, recent advances in robots and automation have made them more accessible, simple to use, and affordable.

Benefits of Robotics and Automation

There are many financial aspects to consider before upgrading a manufacturing process, but with the emergence of more user-friendly robotics and other advanced technologies, automation has become more accessible, even for small shops. As baby boomers continue to retire at a rapid pace, smaller businesses are taking a big hit, more so than their larger counterparts.   However, as more companies embrace automation technologies they will be much more likely to compete.

For example, robots are versatile and efficient. They perform two or more functions at once and can be reprogrammed for different tasks as production needs change. Using robots not only helps companies offset their labor shortage, but they also provide a variety of advantages that improve production, including higher operating speeds, increased quality, reduced waste, etc.

There are robots and automated equipment to help you meet any of your production needs. As you begin to consider robots and automation, FANUC’s experienced team of industry experts is available to help you address even the most complex automation challenges. When you are ready, the first step is to get us in the door for an automation audit where we’ll thoroughly address your goals and objectives for success.

FAQs

  1. Can I afford automation?

    For small businesses that are trying to diversify, grow, and remain competitive, automation may be a necessary investment. The good news is that there is a quick return on investment for robotics and automation. The initial costs to automate may seem intimidating, but automating your manufacturing process will provide solid cost savings benefits that contribute to your success and impact the bottom line. These benefits include reduced labor for dull, dirty, and dangerous tasks, floor space optimization, less energy consumption compared to older equipment, and much more. With the ability to run 24/7, automation also improves productivity, allows employees to perform more highly-skilled tasks, and provides the manufacturing capacity to take on additional business.   

  2. Do my employees have the technical skills to handle automation technology?

    Whether simple or complex, employees will require training before it is safe for them to program and operate your robots and automation. Once trained, your employees advance their careers by having acquired more technical skills. If they previously performed manual operations such as loading and unloading a machine tool, their automation training makes them qualified to monitor and maintain the equipment. Highly-skilled employees experience more job satisfaction and sense of ownership, which minimizes turnover. FANUC America provides comprehensive technical CNC, robotics and ROBODRILL training with interactive, instructor-led courses offered at our automation training centers, as well as online courses so students can learn at their own pace.  We offer a variety of curriculums including programming, maintenance, and application courses. In addition, our Certified Automation Education (CERT) network is available at over 750 educational institutions throughout the United States and Canada.

  3. Will automation integration make sense with my existing machines?

    You invested in your current setup and technology and you may find that certain elements still function efficiently, even if you were to integrate automation. Although it may depend on the design of your current equipment, old machinery is often integrated with newer automation systems with no complications.

    With the help of our Authorized System Integrators, FANUC performs in-depth analyses of your operation and designs unique solutions no matter the industry. Integration teams receive rigorous training, are experienced in both robotics and CNC, and are located across the Americas. This ensures that regardless of your current manufacturing process, a solution can be developed to fit your unique needs and goals.

Making the Decision

If you’re still on the fence about automating your system, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do we have a difficult time finding employees to do certain tasks?

  2. How extensive is our labor pool?

  3. What is preventing us from growing our business?

  4. Do we measure overall equipment effectiveness, and if so, how?

After reviewing these questions, do you find yourself struggling to find an answer? The solution may be automation. Introducing robotics optimizes production, allows employees to focus on higher priority and highly skilled tasks, increases productivity, and enables your business to grow.

We’re here to help if you have any additional questions or are considering automation for your business. Talk to a FANUC America representative to learn more about our products and services.


Sources:
https://www.thefabricator.com/article/automationrobotics/top-10-misconceptions-about-automation
http://www.applerubber.com/blog/6-manufacturing-automation-myths/
https://matrixdesignllc.com/automating-within-current-floor-plan/



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