Automating any operation can be a daunting project to consider. However, introducing robotics to enhance lean manufacturing in the workplace comes with enough benefits to make them worth considering. From creating safer, higher quality work environments to reducing waste and environmental impact, robots can help your business surpass the competition with a rapid return on investment.
10 reasons robots can enhance lean manufacturing:
Increase production output-rates
- Robots can be left running for long shifts, overnight, and during weekends with little supervision. This enables true 24 hour production runs to increase output levels. New products can be introduced faster into the production process. Programming of new products can be done offline with no disruption to the existing process.
Reduce manufacturing costs
- Robots are a cost effective option to manual manufacturing. The ROI from using robots is quicker than manufacturing with operators. Robots can be programmed to produce products on a just – in –time basis thereby reducing the amount of inventory or work in process product.
Improve product quality and consistency
- Robots are inherently accurate and have a high degree of repeatability. The risks of errors caused by human factors such as tiredness, distraction, or the effects of repetitive and tedious tasks do not affect robots, this results in improved end product quality.
Save space in high value manufacturing areas
- Robots can be mounted on walls, ceilings, rail tracks, and shelves as well as firmly mounted to the floor. They can also be programmed to perform their tasks in confined spaces thereby saving valuable floor space.
Perform ergonomically challenging tasks
- Robots could potentially handle ergonomically challenging tasks during manufacturing, thereby improving the plant safety record.
Reduce material waste and increase yield
- Robots perform routine functions to fine tolerances reducing rejects and scrap waste. Improved accuracy from using robots means you can have more products finished the first time to the quality standard developed by your customers.
Improve quality of work environment for employees
- Robots can take over tasks that are hazardous for humans thereby improving working conditions. Staff motivation can also be improved by training them to take on more technically challenging applications involving robots.
Increase product manufacturing flexibility
- Switching from one process to another is very simple with robots. Consequently, systems with robotic automation can accommodate variations on product and process resulting in maximum ROI on capital investments. The development in vision systems for robots has resulted in a huge increase in flexibility of robot usage.
Reduce employee turnover and promote higher skilled labor
- Running a manufacturing plant with automation requires a technically skilled workforce. The work is challenging and the associated problem solving requirements make the tasks intellectually stimulating. Consequently, employee turnover is reduced and the facility attracts high quality employee candidates.
Comply with safety rules and improve workplace health and safety
- Robots can take over tasks in conditions that are hazardous to human workers. Robots can also handle tasks that if done manually, can lead to ailments such as repetitive strain injuries (RSI) or vibration white finger. Welding environments are inherently hazardous for human eyes; this safety issue can be avoided using robots. Even tasks that are ergonomically challenging could potentially be handled by a robot thereby improving the plant safety record.
If these ten reasons aren’t enough information, consider contacting one of our automation engineers to learn more about how robotics can enhance lean manufacturing in your warehouse or manufacturing plant. CNC Solutions is always ready to help guide you towards the best automation solutions for your application.