Finding the Proper Robot Solution: New isn’t Always Better
Danish companies are constantly presented with new smart technologies, which enable the use of automation and robots to optimize and better processes and workflow. There’s no doubt that we live in an exciting time with riveting technological development.
On the flip side, this constant development of robotic solutions and possibilities makes it difficult to decide when and how to join the automation wave.
Buying a particular robot just because it’s the newest one rarely makes sense. But which considerations should you actually make before looking into smart solutions for your business?
The following is a list of simple principles and methods based on Gain & Co’s experience from advising more than one hundred production companies:
- Do not select a technology first. Begin by finding the processes in your business, which have the greatest potential for automation. Once a particular process is deemed fit for automation, you can begin searching for the best solution.
- Before determining the needs and specifications for a technological solution, optimize workflows around the process in question. Oftentimes, changes in workflow result in altered potential, e.g. by the process completing faster or more steadily etc. The flow surrounding the process needs to be optimized before the actual potential for automation can be estimated.
- Concretize the potential gain of automating the process. Will automation increase productivity and therefore add to the bottom line? Will it better the quality or uniformity of my product? Will it create a better work environment? Will it help build experience with new technologies and methods? A clear definition of the potential gains gives a good and needed basis for decision-making prior to investment.
- Describe the demands for the solution and make sure that all parties agree on functionality, e.g. of a robot. How many different variants of items must the robot be capable of handling? Is it required that the operator be able to train or program the robot for new tasks on his own? With clearly defined demands and expectations, finding the right solutions is much easier.
- Make sure to obtain offers from several vendors prior to making an investment. It may seem obvious, but many businesses forget. Either because they believe only a single vendor can deliver the solution, or because it is easier to buy from someone they already know. Unfortunately, this often results in the solution being bought at too high of a price. Three offers can save you both time and money.
These rules of thumb have aided companies to reach a great degree of success in their technological investments. With a well-thought-out procedure, the risk of purchasing new technology can be significantly reduced, and a better purchasing price can be achieved. This is because the concrete needs have been thought through and clarified, making the specifications of the automation solution easier to define.