How to Scale Your Robotic Capabilities
Posted on Dec 28, 2017 7:00 AM. 2 min read time
The rule of thumb, when it comes to collaborative robots, is that once you have one, you’ll soon want more. Scaling up with your robots is something that all manufacturers will consider very quickly when they’ve see what cobots have to offer. Now that you’ve see this first hand, it’s time to learn how you can grow your investment and reap the rewards.
Join us as we look at an exciting eBook from Robotiq entitled “Scaling Up From 1 to 10 Robots” which can be found in the eBook marketplace for free. After this summary, you’ll be dying to read more on the subject!
Scaling Your Collaborative Robot Capabilities
It all starts with how you’ll scale your new robots. Do you want to copy/paste robot cells and duplicate tasks that are already being performed on your factory floor? Or, conversely, would you rather create new cells that involve tasks that haven’t been automated before?
Copying a task is easier, but there are greater rewards to be earned for those who expand their robotic potential. It all starts with gathering information. Before you begin scaling, you need to create a future production forecast that allows you to see if the costs will be worthwhile.
Start by calculating the ROI on your first robot cell, and use this to determine the expectations for your additional cells. Next, you should consider the benefits that cobots offer, such as reduced sick days, high employee morale and less injuries.
You should also leverage the knowledge you gained during the implementation of your first cobot. Think about the things that worked well, and what could have gone better. Focus on the things that worked really well to maximize the success of your subsequent robots.
Ask these essential questions when implementing new robots:
● Where are the bottlenecks? - Look for areas where further processes are waiting for prior steps to be completed and mark them on your production line.
● Which bottleneck is causing the most damage? - Consider using a rating system to measure which workstation or machine is slowing down the process, and how bad the damage is to your efficiency.
● Is it possible to solve the bottleneck with a cobot? - Cobots can solve a lot of problems, but even some bottlenecks are beyond them. It’s important to ensure that your next robot can be easily implemented into your manufacturing.
From here, the eBook discusses an automation plan. The steps look like this:
● Sort - examine the layout of the robotic cell. Is everything in the right place? Are items being disposed of properly? Check to see if everything is efficiently ordered and organized.
● Set - Optimize your robotic cell by making workflows smooth and easy. Arrange items so they can be easily selected and used.
● Shine - Keep the working environment clean and safe. Cleanliness and maintenance are both equally important and ensure that your equipment is working to the fullest potential.
● Standardize - Create internal standards for your cell that will make your life easier when implementing new robots. Developing in-house knowledge and expertise is key.
● Sustain - Sustainability is important and relies on updated documentation and regular maintenance. Training should also be renewed to keep people updated on skills and safety guidelines.
● Safety - Perform a risk assessmen to see what you need to ensure your robotic cells are safe. Building internal safety knowledge here is key.
Through these steps, manufacturers can discover their own unique model for scaling collaborative robots to meet their needs. To learn more, be sure to download the full eBook from Robotiq and discover how easy it is to bring robots into the fold!
Have you read this eBook? Let us know what you thought of it in the comments.