Robotic Machine Tending
The ROI is quicker than you think
Machine tending is a repetitive task that often correlates with high turnover. Finding and retaining people in a role that loads/unloads a machine that cuts, shapes, tests, etc. is a challenge. We have a solution to that challenge – AUTOMATION.
Before assuming a robot is too expensive, consider a new type of robot that has been developed, collaborative robots or cobots. Cobots make automation not only more cost-effective, but also improve current quality standards, as well as the overall safety of employees.
This robotic solution is referred to as a Collaborative Robot, or “Cobot”. Adams represents the industry leading cobot developer – Universal Robots. Universal Robots, with their proven 10-year track record putting cobots in machine tending roles, is the most efficient, safest, and most cost-effective solution to high machine operator turnover. They designed their cobots to work next to people, ensuring the safety of employees with 15 built-in safety functions. Universal Robots has also curated their own vendor approved partner line of modular application attachments called “End-of-Arm Tooling” (EOAT). Adams represents the same vendor approved partners, and together can develop a complete solution to automate your process.
Universal Robots manufactures 3 different sized cobots to meet the needs of multiple different applications. Each size cobot has a different arm reach and weight capacity. This tiered system makes it feasible to purchase the power and reach necessary, keeping costs in proportion to the solution at hand. Cobots are easy to program – done simply and intuitively through a touchpad interface and can even be programmed to operate two different machines simultaneously. They are consistent and precise, and do not have the same workplace requirements as a traditional employee. Cobots do not require benefits, parking, or workers compensation. Instead, they offer an increase in production, workplace safety, and product quality.
The EOAT options are endless, options are available for a multitude of different applications. Utilizing UR’s approved vendors, programming end-of-arm tooling is as simple as “plug-and-play”. All components are designed to work together seamlessly. Adams also partners with specialized vendors whose products feed parts to the cobot by gravity feeds and conveyors. Other specialized vendors build stands, both fixed and mobile, for cobots as well.
Now, let’s talk money. The average salary of a machine operator is approximately $40,000 at 2 shifts per day. The automated system, i.e. the Cobot, EOAT, and stand, is a total investment of approximately $75,000. While this creates a large capital expenditure in the short term, once this system is put in place, the company will see immediate increases in efficiency. These efficiencies will therefore increase profits, decrease employee costs, as well as decrease turnover costs (e.g. hiring, onboarding, and training costs). Adams is confident that the implementation of a cobot will create a return on investment in under one year.