Implementation of robots across industry has been on a break-neck pace over the last few years. Evidence of this can be seen in research from the Robotics Industries Association, which shows that, during the first quarter of 2017, “an all-time high total of 9,773 robots valued at approximately $516 million were ordered from North American robotics companies.” This level of sales follows the record-breaking performance of 2016 during which “34,606 robots valued at approximately $1.9 billion were ordered in North America, representing growth of 10 percent in units over 2015.”
With so much activity on the robotics front, chances are good that you are looking to add to your robot inventory or begin seriously incorporating robots into your production processes.
In either case, how can you be sure that you’re making the right choice of robot and that you’re working with the best vendor for your application?
According to Rick Brookshire, senior manager at Epson Robots, there are six key aspects to examine to help guide you through your robot and vendor selection process.
- What do you want the robot to do? Yes, this is as straightforward as it sounds.
- Next, have at least a rough idea of the layout for the robot workcell.
- Determine what level of placement precision is required. This is where information about your manufacturing tolerances will be applied to your robot selection.
- In addition to your precision requirements, be sure to include your throughput requirements, such as how many parts per minute need to be produced.
- Don’t forget to consider peripheral devices that may be part of the robotic workcell—devices such as visions systems, feeders and conveyors.
- Determine what kind of ROI you need for your project to be considered successful. “Some robot projects can achieve ROI in as little as six months,” said Brookshire, “although it’s important to realize that ROI can vary tremendously depending…