Author Topic: When to Robotise  (Read 1481 times)

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Offline multivitsTopic starter

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When to Robotise
« on: June 09, 2008, 06:41:43 PM »
Great site with lots of design and build info, but how about why and when to build an industrial robot. I searched around the net and ended up here so here's my question.

Are there a set of rules or guidelines that can be applied when deciding if a manufacturing process can benefit from being robotised?

This may entail a detailed analysis of the process itself and from this certain aspects may be well suited to robotising where as other parts of a process would be better off left semi automatic or even manual.


Offline AndrewM

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Re: When to Robotise
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2008, 08:43:12 PM »
There are a ton of factors that play into that question, making it difficult to have hard and fast rules for where and when to apply robotics.  Cost benefit analysis, enviromental issues (business not nature), process management, human resources, etc, etc.

The human resource and business enviroment issues play some of the biggest roles.  Replacing humans with robots is not going to make a company very popular, which can in turn lower the perception of a company and reduce market share (those are bad things).  As technology progresses these will become lesser issues (greater acceptance of technology can cause an increase in company perception for using robots instead of humans).  In the mean time, most manufacturing sectors have used robotics to perform either: a) repetitive jobs that a human would not want, or b) jobs that a human should not be doing (hazardous/heavy lifting).
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Offline Admin

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Re: When to Robotise
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2008, 09:23:33 AM »
There are many books out there that cover this.

Affordable Automation, for example, is one that I recommend (and its really cheap, too).

Are there a set of rules or guidelines that can be applied when deciding if a manufacturing process can benefit from being robotised?
The best way to do this is sit down and do a cost analysis. The general rule of thumb is that it depends on how much of the product you plan to manufacture:
1 item -> 10 items -> 100 items -> 1000 items
human -> tool assisted human -> robot -> dedicated machine

Its easier to replace humans if:
- you retrain them to become skilled robot operators
- your employees aren't members of a union :P

And I think many investors would be happier with the bottom line . . .

If your company can't compete with other companies, the employees will lose their jobs anyway . . .


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