Based in Odense, Denmark, Universal Robots manufactures smaller flexible industrial collaborative robot arms. Darrell Adams, the Danish company’s head of Southeast Asia and Oceania, recently explained the importance of automation.
According to Adams, the benefits of collaborative automation are undisputed as it gives increases profitability, productivity and flexibility, improves quality and even enhances employee satisfaction. Given the current economic landscape, manufacturers need these advantages now more than ever, he said.
Collaborative robots (cobots) are a proven, valuable and accessible solution for manufacturers of any size, Adams noted. He enumerated five reasons reasons why automation should be increased in factories.
Cobots ease labor shortages.
The top challenge manufacturers face is the gap between the demand and availability of workers. Unfortunately, the labor shortages will only get worse in the coming years. Research from Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute found that over the next 10 years starting from 2020, manufacturers will need to add approximately 4.6 million manufacturing jobs, 2.4 of which may go unfilled.
Cobots can help ease the burden by filling the labor gaps. They can be programmed, operated and maintained by existing employees regardless of the team’s previous robotics or automation experience.
By providing manufacturers with an easy way to automate the dirty, dangerous, dull and repetitive jobs, organizations can shift existing employees to new and more valuable roles, which increases employee satisfaction and builds morale and loyalty. Extensive automation can ease recruitment and retention by creating new technical roles with better pay, opportunities and working conditions.
Cobots are accessible and flexible.
Unlike costly industrial robots, cobots are affordable, versatile and easy to integrate into work processes without the need for major renovations or costly installation projects. They are lightweight, space-saving, and easy to re-program and re-deploy to multiple applications as new needs arise without changing the production layout.
Cobots can make companies of any size and in any location competitive by providing the flexibility they need to compete, grow and profit in any economic climate. Collaborative automation equips organisations to easily to scale up or down, increase productivity in warehouses and expand into new markets more quickly.
Collaborative automation gives a financial competitive advantage.
In addition to labor shortages, today’s manufacturers face intense economic and political uncertainty. Adding to the complexity, today’s consumers increasingly demand higher quality products and real-time availability at lower costs and these pressures make running a profitable production line more challenging than ever before.
Financially, collaborative automation has a direct impact on profits. Furthermore, cobots play an important role in improving product quality by reducing human error commonly associated with dull, repetitive and dangerous tasks.
Cobots ensure consistency and accuracy and enhance the ability to create more complex goods, which satisfies customer demand for higher-quality goods at lower costs. At the same time, with the right configuration, a cobot can produce finished goods at a much faster rate than handcrafting or assembly lines.
Collaborative automation is an affordable option.
Few would argue with the benefits of collaborative automation. A small and mid-sized manufacturer might have doubts to afford a solution with all the pressures facing in their factory and the looming economic uncertainty.
Now, cobots can be immediately put to work without the upfront capital investment. For those who are starting their automation journey, looking to upgrade their current cobots or ready to increase automation in their factory, Universal Robots‘ new robot rental program helps them grow their businesses without dipping into cash reserves.
UR Financial Services offers a fast and low-risk model to maximize productivity, profitability and ROI without a significant cash outlay. Through a partnership with DLL, it offers flexible payment plans that accommodate cash flow, seasonal fluctuations and shifts in capacity, a program that provides the ultimate financial flexibility.
Collaborative automation is financially supported by the government in Singapore.
Companies in Singapore, especially SMEs with a tight budget and cash flows, can grow their businesses and solidify their foundations with the Enterprise Development Grant (EDG) grant in the country. Supporting companies’ usage of automation and technology which results in tangible benefits and significant growth, the EDG helps the company to adopt and develop sophisticated hardware and software solutions such as collaborative automation.
Companies that are just getting started on automation need not worry about the purchase of machinery, integration of systems or even training of staff to deploy solutions. These scopes will be further supported by the automation project.
With EDG, companies can adopt cutting-edge technology and robotics to increase productivity and gain significant benefits for their organisation. While it is difficult to predict the future, it is plausible that this is just the start of the process for collaborative robots.
In the long run, with a rapid increase in automation capabilities, cobots will become the powerful workhorses of the factory. This is the perfect time to deploy cobots in your industry and stay ahead of competitors.