Collaborative robots have completely revolutionized the manufacturing sector by lowering the barriers to entry. This is because when compared to traditional robotic systems, they are incredibly affordable, something that makes it easier for small companies that have limited budgets, to afford them.
Even though they are significantly more affordable, the amount of money required to purchase one is still significant for small business. However, small businesses around the world are increasingly investing in these robots. Why? Because these robots tend to guarantee a positive return on investment, and one of the ways through which they achieve this is by helping businesses to lower their production costs.
Lower labor costs
When you embrace automation, you won’t have to hire as many people as you would otherwise do. This can lead to huge savings, especially especially if you are in a sector that is overly reliant on skilled labor. Automating your processes by using collaborative robots like the ones manufactured by universal robot, will essentially shield you from rising wage rates and the unpredictability of the labor market. The savings that you get from using fewer human workers will then translate to lower production costs and this will lead to a healthier balance sheet.
Better margins of scale
Collaborative robots have an edge when it comes to affording businesses the benefits of margins of scale simply because they work faster. They can also work non-stop, something that makes it easier for them to work on 24-hour shifts. As a result, they can complete their tasks at a faster rate when compared to human workers. Increasing your production capacity with these robots is easier, and this increases your odds of getting the best of the benefits of margins of scale such as lower per-unit costs. And since with reduced costs, you will have better profit margins, recouping your initial investment becomes easier.
Reduced workplace-related injuries and related costs
If your company regularly deals with potentially dangerous machinery or handles hazardous materials, then the costs related to workplace-related injuries can significantly increase your operational costs. This is because when an employee gets injured, you have to cater to their medical costs. You also have to worry about increasing insurance rates. And there is also the risk of litigation and all the costs that come with it.
Automation will help to make your facility safer for your employees. This is because robots don’t make human errors. They aren’t susceptible to getting bored, losing concentration or being forgetful. Having more robots in your facility also reduces the risks of injury simply because the number of employees will be lower. All of these things will combine to reduce incidences of workplace-related accidents and injuries, something that will go a long way towards reducing your liability and getting your operational costs under control.
Unlike traditional robotic systems, collaborative robots take up less physical space. They are not only physically smaller, but also don’t require additional safety structures like safety fences and cages. Their footprint also tends to be smaller when compared to human workers especially when you consider the fact that they can be placed on vertical shelves. They also don’t require amenities like bathrooms and resting places.
Given that these robots can work in tight spaces, and that they don’t need a lot in terms of amenities, a small business that uses them can get away with renting out relatively smaller spaces for their businesses. And since rent tends to be a significant expense for most businesses, the savings that one gets from renting out smaller spaces will go a long way towards reducing a business’ overhead.
Robotic systems are precise and accurate. They also do not carry the risk of making human-related errors. Therefore, since automation essentially reduces the risks of ending up with defective products, it cuts down on the overall amount of products and raw materials that are discarded. In industries that demand high degrees of precision, these savings can be significant enough to dramatically the overall costs of production.
While purchasing a robot is a significant expense for the average small business, it is one that pays for itself in just a few years. And given the increased productivity and improved quality that typically accompanies automation, it is a must for every small business that is looking to survive in competitive markets.