cobot recap: have you hugged your collaborative robot today?

in trending now by Jeff Green

Nate Koontz and Baxter the collaborative robot. Photo via Forbes.
Manufacturers Embrace Automation to Hedge Against Future Downturns – At present, business is good for manufacturers in western Michigan. Mark Ermatinger, vice president of sales at an automation consultancy, had this to say:

“I’ve been in the automation side of the business since 1999 and I don’t think I’ve ever seen it this busy.” Ermatinger added, “I think manufacturers recognize they have to take advantage of the economy, and spending money on automation is a safe and lucrative option.”

According to Mike Jeffrey, director of automation at ArtiFlex Manufacturing, companies realize they need to invest in automation equipment to avoid being caught off guard in the event of the next recession. If companies eschew investments in automation, they will lack price competitiveness when the market contracts.

Having learned from experience, manufacturers are looking at automation to avoid setbacks in the event of a downturn. At the same time, these preventative measures are proving beneficial to many manufacturers, even during healthy economic times.

How to Determine Robot ROI – These days, and rightly so, we place just about every purchase under the microscope to ensure it’s money well spent. And when it comes to collaborative robots , the low cost, useful life expectancy, versatility, and increase in productivity all make good cases to justify the expense.

But how about the actual return on investment?  AutomationWorld published a blog recently to help answer that very question. Here’s what the author had to say about a real-world manufacturing automation example, based on the purchase of three robots and showing a first year ROI of $195,000:

“Those numbers look pretty good, and that’s only for one-year. In fact, your robot will last for many years (one of our manufacturing partners has a planned robot replacement cycle of seven years). Therefore, once the initial robot cost is covered, the payback dramatically increases.”

Sounds convincing, right?  Now prove it using your own numbers by taking a closer look at the ROI calculations here.

Next-Gen Robots Poised to Enter Industrial, Commercial Markets – IBD reports on the latest forecast for the robotics market, as a Piper Jaffray analyst sums it with the following from a research report published last month:

“With robotic demand heating up across many different industries, we believe the total market can sustain a 10%-plus compound annual growth rate through 2020, and anticipate some of the faster-growing segments, such as collaborative robots, autonomous guided vehicles and commercial drones, can sustain 20%-plus annual growth levels for the next several years.”

The author zeroes in further on collaborative robots and goes on to discuss the differences between traditional industrial robots and the newer, more flexible cobots.

For a bigger collection of news and views on these topics, hop on over to Cobot Central.  And subscribe above to get new blog post alerts delivered right to your inbox, once a week at most. It’s an easy way to get a grip on the latest trends in manufacturing automation.



About the Author

Jeff Green

I'm Jeff Green, senior content and social media strategist at Rethink Robotics. When I'm not socializing Sawyer and Baxter, our smart, collaborative robots, I'm usually caught up in the home tornado, also known as my three kids. Love them, my wife, old-school Chinese food, movies, and of course game-changing technology.

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