At Robotiq, we are committed to helping people get robots up-and-running quickly. We have seen people integrate the bare-bones of a robot application within just a few hours.

6. Integration is expensive

The cost of integration has been falling over the last decade or so. Integration is now much more cost effective, even for industrial robots which are more expensive to integrate than collaborative robots.

With industrial robots, integration costs increase the overall cost of the robot by 300%. With collaborative robots, integration costs can be negligible.

7. Integration is complex

Robots sound complicated, right? However, it is no longer the case that integration has to be complex.

Even if you have never used a robot before, integration can be very simple. Sabrina Thompson from our case study of the Scott Fetzer group said: “If you can work a smartphone, you can work a robot.” Robot programming is much easier than it used to be.

8. Robotics means changing production layout

“We can’t integrate a robot because we don’t want to change our process.”

This is a common concern. People think that robots will cause a major upheaval and require the production layout to be changed.

In reality, you can slot a robot into a small space in an existing work cell without changing the rest of the process at all.

9. Robots need a lot of technology

Sensors, security fences, controller add-ons, advanced fixings, part positioners… when many people think of a robot cell, they imagine it with lots of added technology. This may be because we are used to seeing images and videos of industrial robots kitted out with all the technological extras.

You can actually get a robot running with nothing more than the robot itself, a gripper and a controller. Simple.

10. Robots are only for new tasks

People sometimes think that robots are only applicable to new tasks in their business. They can’t imagine how a robot could be used for their current, manual tasks. They wrongly assume that they will only be able to automate once they scale their business and design new processes.

In actual fact, manual tasks are often the best tasks to automate. Once you have identified a suitable application, it is much quicker and easier to automate an existing task than to create a new application from scratch.

11. Robots are too dangerous to integrate

Safety is at the top of some people’s list as a reason that they can’t integrate a robot themselves. They worry that they might make a mistake and create a robot which is dangerous.

With traditional industrial robots, safety was always a huge concern. However, with collaborative robots, safety features are built in. This means that safe integration is almost guaranteed.

12. Safety standards are too complex

Although collaborative robots are inherently safe, they still need a risk assessment. Some people are put off by this, thinking that they will have to learn about robotic safety standards in order to integrate their own robots.

Cobot safety standards are actually simple to get your head around. You can download our eBook How to Perform a Risk Assessment for Collaborative Robots for a practical guide to the essential safety standards.

13. High-changeovers are a no-go

A lot of the companies we hear from think that they can’t integrate a robot into their process because they have too many changeovers. They think that robots are only useful for long runs of product. However, environments with a high number of changeovers can benefit a lot from adding a robot. The trick is to pick the right robot gripper and tooling.

14. Robots have limited uses

Sometimes, people can only think of one or two potential applications for robots and assume that robots have limited applications. For example, they might only be able to think of welding or painting because these are classic examples of traditional industrial robotic tasks.

In reality, there are so many potential uses of robots that there are too many for us to count. We are regularly amazed by the many new and inventive applications that people come up with when they first start using collaborative robots.

15. Getting started with robots is hard

Probably the most pervasive misconception is that it’s hard to start using robots.

Nothing could be further from the truth! These days, it is easier than ever to start using a robot with almost no training at all. You can integrate your own robots quickly with no previous experience.

This article has been republished with permission from Robotiq. 

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