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Automation and Jobs

Avoid These 10 Automation Challenges When Making the Leap to Robotics

Implementing robotics can be a complex process. There’s much to consider, from the types of automation solutions that are best for you to the logistics of installing, troubleshooting, and integrating robots into a productive and safe manufacturing routine. 

In short, there can be a lot of problems with robotics. There’s a lot that can go wrong. 

We firmly believe that robotics, when done right, can result in immediate gains for manufacturers in every industry. When companies avoid automation challenges or solve them strategically, their employees are safer, their costs are lower, and their productivity and output skyrockets. 

At KC Robotics, we’re passionate about helping you avoid robotic process automation challenges, so you can work towards your goals. Let’s talk about the top ten problems with robotics that companies can encounter when they decide to make the leap to automation.

  1. They select a very complex application to automate first. We see it all the time: Companies get excited about automating, and decide to start with their most complex process or part. This path typically results in an equally complex solution that customers find very difficult to operate or maintain. This tends to result in frustration with automation itself—which can make companies feel that robotics isn’t for them. Our recommendation? Take baby steps and start with a less complex  project, and plan to build on your success. 
  2. They overestimate the limits of their new robots. Selecting and integrating a robot is an entirely custom-fit process. It requires detailed knowledge of your needs and the limits of each robot, including payload, torque, and inertia. To avoid frustrating results, make sure that you’re working with a good robotics integrator who will help you choose a robot based on your needs. 
  3. They overlook the fact that a new robot may require a system upgrade and supporting equipment. When you’re implementing a robot into your manufacturing routine, you need to make sure that your new robot has what it needs to succeed. It’s easy to focus too much on robotics equipment, and ignore the nearby environment! 
  4. They don’t understand the importance of good safety design. Robot safety isn’t an option; it’s the law. Good safety design may be harder to implement, but it makes it easier for your employees to follow protocol and stay safe. Our recommendation here is simple: Work with your robotics integrator to make sure that your updated systems are as safe as possible, and that you comply with all applicable workplace regulations. 
  5. They don’t communicate openly with their system integrator. Your system integrator is there to reduce your stress and solve any automation challenges you encounter. However, they can only work with the information you give them! Take it from us: It’s impossible to over-communicate when it comes to making a serious automation purchase. The more we know about your process, requirements and goals the better we are able to help. 
  6. They underestimate the impact of cable management issues. When compared to the robot itself, the various cables that are part of the overall robotic system can seem small and unimportant. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Cable management issues constitute the #1 cause of robot system downtime. Ask your integrator to help you set up good cable management and other best practices to keep your robot running safely. 
  7. They choose an automation solution based only on price. Trust us: Robotics is not the place for bargain shopping. Your integrator will help you find the right robot for you—the one that will work to solve your real manufacturing issues. It will be an investment—but it’ll be one that you’ll see benefits from rapidly. 
  8. They don’t consider their real application needs—both now and later. Your new robot is an investment that you’re going to benefit from for the next several years, as you and your manufacturing processes grow. You don’t want to have to upgrade your automation system immediately after you first implement it, so work with your integrator to select robotics that will help you with both today and tomorrow’s needs. 
  9. They misunderstand accuracy and repeatability. These two terms measure how closely a robot can reach a programmed position and how consistent a robot can be. These concepts are very important for the quality of your automated processes! Make sure that your integrator knows every detail about your manufacturing strategies—especially if your chosen automation process relies on extremely accurate work. 
  10. They think robots are too complicated! Yes, automation and robotics systems are complex—but that shouldn’t be a reason to dismiss them entirely. Understanding your robotic system fully can require a knowledge base in several types of engineering and science. However, operating and maintaining your robot doesn’t have to be complicated—particularly if you work with your integrator to make sure it’s engineered, integrated, and programmed correctly. 

Which robotic process automation challenges do you think might present issues for you? At KC Robotics, it’s our mission to build you a strategy that solves any problems with robotics before they happen. Reach out to our team of friendly staff to experience superior support and expertise through every step of your automation journey.