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Industrial Manufacturing and Robotics: 5 Tips to Get Started

5/11/23  |  Robert Werkman, VP of Automation

Scenario: Your teams are tasked with completing repetitive tasks, such as packing boxes or operating machinery, which can be physically and mentally draining. Your workers are committed and well-trained, but you wonder if there’s more to be done to take some of the workload off them without slowing down production. Additionally, worker safety is a priority, and you know that an accident or injury can result in costly lawsuits, decreased productivity, and lower employee morale. Managing all of this while also keeping operations running is a large task and can be overwhelming.

However, there’s a solution available that can help you keep the business moving (and growing) and make sure your workers aren’t burnt out or put at risk of physical harm: Robotics.

With the rise of robotics technology, many companies are exploring ways to incorporate automation into their manufacturing processes. However, getting started with robotics in industrial manufacturing can be challenging, especially for companies that are new to automation. It can be difficult to know how to get started.

Here are five tips to get you started with robotics:

1) Identify the Right Processes for Automation

Identifying the right processes for your robot automation is the first and most important step. Look for processes that are repetitive and time consuming as those are the ones that can benefit most from the increased efficiency and consistency that robotics can provide.

It’s also critical to look for areas that may be posing a risk to worker’s safety. Robotics can perform potentially dangerous tasks with more precision, accuracy, and speed while also reducing the threat of accidents or injuries.

Conduct a thorough evaluation of your processes and prioritize those that meet the criteria for robotics. By taking the time to do this upfront, you will better set yourself up for success when investing in robotics.

2) Evaluate the Costs and Benefits

Next, you should evaluate the costs and benefits of the implementation. Robotics can exponentially improve productivity without sacrificing quality, and the improvements to workplace safety will, most importantly, keep your employees safe. And it can help you avoid costly fines. Consider the return on investment (ROI) of the implementation. An upfront cost today can mean higher returns tomorrow.

3) Choose the Right Robotics Technology

While there are many types of robotics technology available, choosing the right one is essential. For those in the automotive, logistics, food and beverage, and packaging industries (just to name a few), consider Comau’s robotic arm technology. With more than 40 different industrial robotic arms with load capacities from 3 to 650 KG, there are a lot of solutions available.

4) Train Employees

One of the many benefits of the Comau robotics is implementing them will keep employee training to a minimum. These systems work with Logix controllers, Kinetix® drives, and the Studio 5000 environment from Rockwell Automation. Because your teams are already likely well-versed in this technology, there’s no need to wait for the availability of a specialized robot programmer. Rexel and Rockwell Automation also offer machine and robot training for those who need it.

5) Partner with an Expert

Most importantly, when considering the investment in robotic technology, remember that you are not alone. Rexel and Rockwell Automation have experts on-hand to help you with any of the steps outlined above and are ready to answer any of your questions. Contact us today to get started!