OLRP Expert Series

Getting ready for your new 24/7 employee

James Schnarr, Product Manager

 

Years ago, small to mid-size companies didn’t even entertain the idea of adding a robot to their manufacturing processes. Not only was the cost prohibitive, but the learning curve was steep and the overall concept proved to be too intimidating for most.

In today’s increasingly competitive market, more and more businesses are realizing the value that a robot can offer without putting undue stress on the bottom line. Not only are today’s robots smaller, more versatile, and easier to program, but costs have come down to the point where even “mom and pop” companies are looking at the next generation of technology.

Contrary to what many think, hiring new staff isn’t always necessary. For simple manufacturing jobs, a specialized course can have existing employees trained and running the robot in as few as five days. For operators already proficient in software like Mastercam, the training period maybe even shorter.

“If you can program a CNC machine, you can program a robot”

After the initial outlay, the cost savings associated with a robot’s versatility, endurance, and speed are soon realized; many companies see a quick return on investment. A robot can work precisely and consistently for 24 hours a day, seven days a week, providing a level of performance and reliability that simply can’t be duplicated by human labour. Then there’s the reduction in wasted time and resources, lower labor costs, and greater yield in terms of both quality and volume.

An additional purchase that is paying off for many companies using robotics automation is Offline Robot Programming software. The ability to program robots offline can lead to a huge increase in productivity.

Involving a robot integrator in the installation process will make the transition go much more smoothly. While employees are going through a training period, an integrator will take care of the initial setup, have the applications ready to run, and pave the way into the world of automation.

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