New robotic technologies are having a profound impact on the way manufacturers conduct business. The flexibility these technologies offer is unprecedented and remarkable. Manufacturers that were forced to offshore their production are now considering implementing this technology into new reshored manufacturing plants back in the U.S.. Smaller manufacturers can more easily stay competitive in the global market while keeping their operations local. We will be discussing 4 huge ways new industrial robotics technologies are helping manufacturers to improve their business.
Manufacturers have found a great way to improve their operations enough to be able to justify returning back to the U.S.. New robotic technology allows manufacturers to keep their staff, while also adding a safe industrial robot directly to the shop floor. Collaborative robots like Baxter https://mfgtalkradio.com/industrial-robotics/are able to operate safely next to humans without the need for expensive safety cages that can also take up valuable shop space. These robots can not only let human employees work side by side the robot, they can work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, without a break or salary.
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Having an advanced and affordable collaborative robot in a shop can drastically reduce the operating costs of an entire facility. They can be placed around the shop and reprogrammed to perform new tasks with ease. This technology is an attractive option for any business thinking about reshoring because they can keep their workforce focused on the essential tasks that require cognitive ability while the robot performs repetitive tasks. Repetitive and unskilled labor can be completed almost entirely by the robot. As well as being able to perform nearly any task, Baxter and other robots like it can work all night to help shorten production time and help ensure products reach the customer in a timely fashion.
There will also be a huge boost in efficiency and productivity for any manufacturer that decides to invest in collaborative robotic systems. Having the option to free up the skilled labor force to work on essential tasks can greatly improve moral and achieve a level of success that was never before possible. When a skilled manufacturer is forced to work on a repetitive but essential task while they could be starting on a new project, they begin to lose interest in the job as a whole. Imagine a shop where all the packaging and sorting can be done by a robot and every employee can work on the project at hand. This is the recipe for an efficient and productive manufacturing operation.
Furthermore, robots don’t get board and their minds don’t wonder. Mistakes are only made if a machine malfunctions or an error occurs. These highly advanced robotic systems can be relied on to complete their task correctly and can even then go back and check their work once the shop closes. These systems offer the best of both worlds for the business and the individual employees. Business owners can run their facility all night long preparing for the day ahead and employees don’t need to concern themselves with the tasks that are mindless and repetitive.
Not only can these collaborative robots help bring manufacturers back to the U.S. and work more efficiently, they can also help provide assistance for the employees on the shop floor. These new robotic systems are easily reprogrammable which makes them extremely useful for on the fly assistance. They can lift and hold heavy components or perform intricate tasks that would otherwise require additional machinery. If a large component needs to be manipulated, and for the sake of time a lift cannot be brought in, an employee can roll these robots to the desired location, reprogram the system and have it assist them with whatever they need. This is a huge timesaver, and employees will soon feel like the robot is a part of their team.
It also won’t take long to see the ROI from one of these collaborative robots. Baxter for example, comes at a base price of $25,000 which opens the door for manufacturers of any size to take advantage of the product. For less than a yearly full time salary, a manufacturer can purchase an “employee” that never needs to take a bathroom break or a salary. It might only take a year before a robot like Baxter pays for themselves, and from there on out it will only be adding value to the company. Baxter, and other collaborative robots like it, are also extremely energy efficient. This will continue to add to the manufacturers savings as they continue to work around the clock while not being a burden once the energy bill comes in.
Manufacturers are all talking about the new technology that can help boost their business. Collaborative robots are a fantastic place to start when thinking about implementing new technology into a manufacturing operation. Also, these robots can be a deciding factor for a business that is considering bringing their business back to the U.S.. A facility will see a huge boost in efficiency and productivity as their operation begins working around the clock and giving skilled employees the ability to work on more complex tasks 100% of the time. Baxter, and other robotic systems like it, are an attractive choice for any manufacturer looking to improve their business in a variety of different ways.