The Advantages and Disadvantages of Robotic Automation

Apr 29, 2020

Many companies think about the integration of robotic systems into their production line. But what are the major advantages and disadvantages? We have come up with the following:

Advantages

  • Robots increase your overall productivity. As they do not need to sleep or rest, they can work 24/7 in your production site ensuring a constant high quality. Hence, your company can produce even more products in higher batch sizes. This does not mean, that robots will “steal” any jobs. They rather support very repetitive tasks, meaning that your work force can be rather used for more creative and competitive thinking. The increased productivity in various fields leads to a long term positive ROI.

  • This way, robots save you plenty of time and decrease workload, which can now be used to accelerate your business. Thanks to the use of robots, processes and working steps are faster than ever before.

     

  • Hence, your production becomes more flexible and agile. This leads to the fact that you can produce also smaller lot sizes. By using the TracePen and the Wandelbots software this effect gets even reinforced as you can teach your robot by yourself without the need for external experts. You can train your robot different tasks in only minutes and can restart your production even faster by reducing its downtime dramatically.

     

  • Additionally, these automation helpers increase the OEE (overall equipment effectiveness), meaning that value to your plant in terms of quality, availability and performance is added. Robots are programmed to execute the same task over and over by losing only a fraction of quality over time.

     

  • Robots also may help you to change your production from linear to modular and therefore, allow you to customize products even more. This way companies can react to changing market requirements even faster. In case there is a need to reprogram your robot plenty of times, we recommend you to inform yourself about our TracePen and how Wandelbots makes robot teaching easy as pie by saving around 90% of programming costs.

     

  • By the invention of the smaller collaborative robots (cobot), those now also got more affordable for SMEs. They cost only a fraction of the price of a few years ago and are very easy to handle. Furthermore, they can be easily retaught and can be used for a multitude of applications.

     

  • Robots can do the ‘dirty’ work. Any job that could be dangerous for people, can be executed by robots. Examples for this scenario can be found for instance in pharmacy when working with radioactive substances or when working with hazardous materials.

Disadvantages

Of course, every coin has two sides. Consequently, robotics automation has also disadvantages.

  • The initial acquisition costs for robots is high. Besides the robot hardware and other operating costs, a huge part of the occurring expense is caused by reprogramming, adaptations and support of the software for controlling the robot. These programming costs are also a reoccurring costs, as for every little changed work step, the robot must be adjusted. This cost can be lowered by up to 90% by using the Wandelbots Software. This tool makes it possible to adjust a taught path by only using the app. A loss of production caused by the standstill of machines can be minimized to a fraction. To teach, no external knowledge is needed and must be paid for. Additionally, reprogramming like this is about 10 times faster than usual programming which also saves you operating costs. 

  • As already teased, robots can only be (re-)programmed by a small number of experts. On average every programmer is familiar with only 2 programming languages, which could cause even more costs if your company owns robots of more than one type. The Wandelbots Software tackles this problem, as it works universally for any kind of integrated robot manufacturer. Codes can be exported also cross-vendor and the need for experts vanishes as the app guides every user intuitively through all steps. No programming knowledge is needed. Every laymen will be able to program a robot by himself, which saves a huge amount of costs.
  • Of course, every robot has its limitations. Not every robot can be used for every type of application. In case you are starting with an automation, inform yourself beforehand about necessary requirements. Wandelbots offers the connection to plenty of partners such as system integrators, robot solution suppliers or IoT platform suppliers.

    Simply contact us using our ‘contact form’ at the bottom of this page and we will find a perfect way to start your automation!

“50% of all tasks will be done by robots in 2025”

World Economic Forum 2018

About the author

Annelie Harz

Marketing Specialist

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Automatica Munich, Germany
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