Disadvantages and Advantages of Industrial Robots
When deciding to introduce industrial robots into your production line, consideration should be given to both the advantages and disadvantages of industrial robots before making a decision. Here, we discuss the pros and cons of using industrial robots. What are the advantages of industrial robots, and what are the disadvantages?
Advantages of Industrial Robots
- Increased efficiency
Industrial robots can complete certain tasks faster and more efficiently than humans as they are designed and built to perform them with higher accuracy. This, combined with the fact they are used to automate processes which previously might have taken significantly more time and resources, results in the use of industrial robots to increase the efficiency of production lines.
- Improved quality
Given their higher levels of accuracy, industrial robots can be used to produce higher-quality products, which reduces the time required for quality control and ensures that standards of quality are adhered to.
- Improved working environment
Some tasks are deemed too dangerous or laborious and repetitive for humans to carry out, so robots can perform these tasks instead. Therefore, working conditions can be improved, as well as safety within factories and production plants, by introducing industrial robots.
- Increased profitability
The results of introducing industrial robots can only ensure higher profitability levels with lower cost per product by increasing the efficiency of your process, reducing the resource and time required to complete it whilst also achieving higher quality products; introducing industrial robots saves money in the long run.
- Longer working hours
With humans, breaks in the working day are required, distractions happen, and attention spans slow. In comparison, robots can work 24/7 and keep working at 100% efficiency. On average, a 40% increase in the output of a production line occurs when one key person is replaced by a robot who operates the same working hours simply because of stamina. Also, robots don’t take holidays or have unexpected absences.
“Wowing” your clients by operating at the cutting edge of your industry, robots are even fantastic as a marketing tool, boosting your brand image and are regularly used simply for PR if they don’t already offer enough benefits!
As we can see, industrial robots have many advantages. Now, we look at the disadvantages of industrial robots.
Disadvantages of Industrial Robots
- Capital cost
Implementing industrial robots can incur a fairly high capital cost; however, they prove highly effective and bring a positive ROI. This is why, prior to decisions being made, we always recommend consideration is given to both the investment required and the ROI you expect to achieve in implementing robots. Often, the advice we offer is to take out asset finance, and the ROI of the robot more than pays for the interest on the asset finance. However, for 2019, the Government has increased the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) to encourage investment in machinery. This investment allowance means businesses can deduct qualifying capital expenditure from their taxable profits to spend on machinery, tools and other business equipment.
The initial set-up of industrial robots requires a lot of training and expertise, as with any other type of technology; this is because they are excellent for performing many tasks. Good automation companies provide a support package for their expertise, which is a significant factor. However, to minimise reliance on automation companies, engineers can be trained to program the robots, but the assistance of experienced automation companies is still required for the original integration of the robot.
The number of industrial robots has dramatically increased over the years, but there are still some limitations to the type of tasks they can perform. This is why we advise that companies liaise with automation companies prior to implementation to assess the various options available first. Sometimes, a bespoke automated system may give a better or faster result than a robot. A robot does not have everything built into it, so often, the success or failure of an industrial robotic system depends on how well the surrounding systems are integrated, e.g. grippers, vision systems, conveyor systems, etc. Use only sound, trusted robot integrators to ensure optimum results.
- Working safely with robots
In addition to the robot’s suitability, safety is paramount when integrating robots into your production environment. This is carried out through risk assessments by either the machine builder or the end user; ultimately, the machine has to be fully assessed and CE marked. Similarly, there is a misconception that collaborative robots are simply ‘safe’; however, before implementing these, a full risk assessment must also be carried out to evaluate the speeds, nip points and the possible risks associated with any end effect tooling.
Careful consideration and advice should be sought before investing in robots. This blog aimed to give you some insight into the aspects that should be considered before implementing industrial robots in your company, and we hope it has been successful in doing so. If more guidance is required or you would like to learn more about the benefits of industrial robots and how they can best be applied to your project, contact our automation experts today. Give us a call on 01382 880088 or email [email protected] for further information.
Read more about our automation here…
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- Advantages & Disadvantages of Robotic Automation