When you hear “robotics integration,” you likely think of huge industrial plants. While automation technology certainly got its start in massive factories such as GM and Ford, today’s reality is that even small-to-medium-size manufacturers can benefit from robotics.
Collaborative robots—“cobots”—in particular, offer a path forward for manufacturers looking to scale.
As integrators for Universal Robots and FANUC robots, Kinetic Technologies provides turn key services to integrate a robot into your facility. This includes fixture design, electronics integration, and software to help job shops of all sizes address labor challenges, reduce repetitive tasks, increase worker safety, meet peak demand requirements, and more.
Let’s look at how robotics can help your job shop advance in a competitive marketplace.
Cobots: Accessible Technology for Progressive Companies
The US manufacturing industry has the “potential for a resurgence of growth” in the coming years, and automation will be critical to meeting demand.
Fortunately, today’s cobots are cost-effective and genuinely easy to master, performing countless tasks safely and efficiently.
Unlike traditional robots that function independently of human operators, cobots are designed to work closely with humans to accelerate and perfect processes such as:
- Machine tending
- Material handling
- Material removal
- Quality inspection
- And more!
Cobots are portable and easy to use
Like a 6-axis CNC machine, collaborative robots easily perform complex, repetitive tasks—but they’re much easier to program! Add customization from Kinetic Technologies, and your cobot becomes a welder, palletizer, sander, or just about any other role you can imagine.
And because these cobots are portable, they can be easily moved around the shop floor as needed.
Cobots are cost-effective
Collaborative automation technology may sound way too expensive for a smaller job shop, but a single cobot can be less expensive than many complex CNC machines. It will also help you save money on labor costs.
For about $150,000 you can have a turn key cobot cell customized to your needs by Kinetic Technologies. An individual cobot will work three shifts a day, seven days a week, resulting in an immediate production increase. You’d need to hire two to three new employees to achieve the same production boost a single cobot provides. Even held against three modest employee salaries, your cobot will pay for itself in less than a year.
Are we suggesting you fire your human team and replace them with cobots? Absolutely not! But with a cobot on your shop floor, you can optimize efficiency and productivity while providing a better work environment for your employees.
Cobots offer teamwide benefits
Automation in manufacturing improves the overall experience for your customers and your team.
- Improved quality and repeatability. Cobots are repeatability pros since, unlike humans, they never get tired or slow down—and they never require optical recalibration.
- Increased job satisfaction for employees. The manufacturing labor shortage has made it difficult for shops to fill employment gaps, partially because of the lack of skilled professionals but also because people are uninterested in monotonous job roles. When you leave the repetitive work to robots, you can tap into the talents only humans can offer—tasks that require creativity and decision-making.
- Enhanced safety. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, manufacturing workplace injuries is second only to injuries among healthcare employees. Cobots can help keep your team safe by lifting, moving, and machine tending. They’re also impervious to unpleasant conditions, such as extreme temperatures, making them excellent support systems for your shop’s people.
Kinetic Implements Robotics in Shops of Every Size
In the wide world of robotics, the US is currently 7th in robot density, a surprisingly low standing for a country that helped advance the Industrial Revolution. More and more companies are recognizing the value of automation in manufacturing, particularly as manufacturing operations reshore to North America.
However, finding a robotics integrator can prove challenging. Many integrators have wait times of over a year, along with steep minimums that make robotic integration unattainable for smaller shops.
Here at Kinetic Technologies, we gladly work with any size shop—no minimums and no massive lead times. In fact, we’re taking orders right now for the RT1, a cobot-controlled rotary table designed to maximize welding capacity.
If you’re interested in obtaining your own RT1 or becoming an RT1 distributor, get in touch!