Automation has revolutionized industries around the world. It has increased productivity, enabled companies to enjoy cost reductions that come with economies of scale and allowed better use of human resource. Unfortunately, these benefits have only been enjoyed by larger companies.
It all has to do with the fact that traditionally, automation requires a large capital outlay. A business has to dedicate a significant portion of their budget to buying the automation equipment, installing it and thereafter programming it. There is also the fact that experts are needed to run these systems, and where need be, to maintain and repair them. This can be very costly.
However, small-sized and medium-sized companies no longer have to shy away from automating their operations. This is because of collaborative robots.
A collaborative robot, also known as a cobot, offers all the advantages of automation without the drawbacks of traditional automation systems. Here are some of the reasons why these advanced robots are a perfect match for small-sized and middle-sized companies.
1. They can work side-by-side with humans
Collaborative robots are built specifically to work alongside human beings. What this means is that a business can integrate a collaborative robot without disrupting existing processes.
This is great for smaller companies since it allows it to adopt automation in a step-by-step process. As a result, a company does not have to risk its entire operation on one system early on, allowing for better risk management.
2. They are easy to set up
Traditional automation systems take very long to install, program, train and then deploy. Large companies can be able to absorb this disruption because they have significant budgets and established clients. This is something that smaller companies cannot afford to do.
With their limited budgets and narrow margins, smaller companies need all the up-time that they can get. For these companies, long periods of downtime can mean going under.
Collaborative robots are easy to install and train. Deploying them does not cause the level of disruption that is usually associated with traditional automation systems. As a result, a business can be up and running in no time. This makes them ideal for use by small businesses.
3. They are affordable
Traditional automation systems are complex. They require a complex system of hardware and software. They also require highly skilled experts to both install and operate. As a result, they tend to be very expensive.
Collaborative robots, on the other hand, are relatively cheaper. Training them is not as complicated as training traditional automation systems. And working with them is way more intuitive. As a result, they tend to be less demanding as far as capital allocation is concerned.
4. They require less space
Traditional automation systems always require dedicated areas mainly because they are bulky. Shielded work cells are also necessary in order to reduce the risks of accidents and injuries. In order to install such systems, an organization as to have enough space. This is something that most small organizations don’t have.
Collaborative robots do not require shielded work cells because they are built and programmed to work alongside human beings. They can therefore blend into existing workflows without causing significant disruptions. This, in addition to the fact that they are relatively less bulky, means that they take up significantly less space. Smaller companies can therefore deploy them without having to worry about the headache of acquiring more space.
5. They are versatile
Small-sized and medium-sized businesses have to constantly adjust to the existing market needs if they want to survive. Therefore, they tend to be hesitant to make significant investments in fixed systems and processes that may end up being redundant in the near future.
Collaborative robots are perfect for such companies because they are versatile. They are built to execute a wide range of applications. As a result, they can adapt to a company’s needs.
There are many advantages of automation. While purchasing, installation and maintenance costs have always kept small and medium-sized businesses from enjoying automation benefits, this is no longer the case. Collaborative robots have made automation accessible to almost any company that wishes to have a competitive edge over their competitors.