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How to Decide If You Should Bother With Lean Robotics

Alex Owen-Hill
by Alex Owen-Hill. Last updated on Feb 04, 2020 11:13 AM
Posted on Feb 04, 2020 10:13 AM. 5 min read time

Not sure if you should look further into Lean Robotics? Not sure if it's worth your time? Here's a simple guide to deciding if you should bother with it.

It's true… Lean Robotics is a choice. You can choose to use it or not.

But should you use it?

If you're unfamiliar with Lean Robotics, here's the summary: it's a framework that we developed to help businesses, like yours, to get up and running with robotics quickly and easily. That's all.

You're a busy person and you may have been burned by "lean initiatives" before. Understandably, you might be questioning if Lean Robotics is really worth your time and effort. Obviously, we at Robotiq know the benefits of Lean Robotics… we wouldn't have created it if we weren't convinced, would we? Even so, it's true that it's not going to be right for everyone.

Here are 5 steps you can use to decide if Lean Robotics is right for you.

1. Get an overview of Lean Robotics

You can't make a good decision about Lean Robotics without first understanding what it is and what it involves. You're not going to do yourself any favors if you just hear the name "Lean Robotics" and think "Yeah, yeah. I know all about that."

As far as I know, Lean Robotics is unlike anything else you might have come across before. Sure, it's got the familiar word "Lean" in it (which I'll cover next) but it's an entirely new way of approaching robot deployment.

Until you have brushed up on the basics of Lean Robotics, you haven't really considered it at all.

The best place to get a quick overview is at the Lean Robotics website.

You can also find out more in the following blog articles:

2. Understand the difference between Lean Robotics and Lean

The word "Lean" might already be familiar to you. There are a lot of types of Lean that exist already… there's Lean Manufacturing, Lean Startups, Lean Bacon, the Leaning Tower of Pisa…

Lean Robotics is not any of them. It does borrow some concepts from Lean Manufacturing, but it only focuses on robot deployment.

The adjective "lean" just means "efficient and with no wastage."

That's all Lean Robotics is. It's just a framework which helps you to deploy robots efficiently without wasting time, money, resources, etc.

For more information about the differences, see our article What's the Difference Between Lean Robotics and Lean Manufacturing?

3. Read or listen to the book

Once you've brushed up on the basics, you've got a small decision to make…

Does Lean Robotics sound like something that could be useful for your business?

You don't need to commit to using it yet.

If Lean Robotics does potentially sound useful, the next stage is to read the Lean Robotics book. Only then will you be able to truly understand the process.

The book is an easy read. We put a lot of work into it to make it as easy to read as possible when we published it in 2017 — sure, Samuel Bouchard (Robotiq's CEO) wrote it, but it was a was a team effort to make it as simple as possible.

Don't think you can spend the time to read the book? I entirely understand.

If you are struggling to find the time, we recently released an audiobook version. You can currently get a free copy of the audiobook. Listen to it during your commute to work, your lunch breaks, in the gym, or wherever your ears have a few spare minutes to listen.

4. Get your questions answered

You may well still have questions after you've read (or listened to) the Lean Robotics book.

Don't sit in silence! Get your questions answered.

Whatever your questions, there are a few ways you can get them answered:

  1. Read one of the "frequently asked questions" articles below.
  2. Ask a question to our team directly.
  3. Post a question in the comments below or join the discussion on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or the DoF professional robotics community.

Here are a few frequently asked questions answered in blog articles:

5. Commit

If you've reached this far (assuming you've actually completed the previous steps) you should now have a good idea of what Lean Robotics is and whether or not it is right for your business.

So, you just have to make the decision…

Do you commit to using Lean Robotics?

With all the learning you've done in the previous steps, this should be a reasonably easy decision for you to make by now. If you're still not sure about Lean Robotics, make sure to reach out to us and ask questions.

When you do decide to use Lean Robotics, commitment is important.

If you don't fully commit to it and instead you say "We'll… maybe we'll give robotics a go but I'm still not sure…" you will make life difficult for yourself and your team, and the robot deployment is likely to be harder than it needs to be — if it succeeds at all.

By committing to making robots work in your business and committing to the Lean Robotics process, you set yourself up for success.

If you've decided that "Yes! I will use Lean Robotics and I do commit to it!" then…

… Welcome to The Lean Robotics Revolution!

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Alex Owen-Hill
Written by Alex Owen-Hill
Alex Owen-Hill is a freelance writer and public speaker who blogs about a large range of topics, including science, presentation skills at, storytelling and (of course) robotics. He completed a PhD in Telerobotics from Universidad Politecnica de Madrid as part of the PURESAFE project, in collaboration with CERN. As a recovering academic, he maintains a firm foot in the robotics world by blogging about industrial robotics.
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