Who benefits from industrial robotics?
Industrial robotics is not designed only for large groups with very large production capacities. The French SME network, under-equipped compared to such countries as Germany, Italy and Spain, has major scope for robot-driven growth and expansion. The obstacles often mentioned are high cost and excessively complex implementation.
Robotisation helps expand the business activity, boost productivity and improve product quality. The production line can operate over a longer period of time, which reduces production costs and amortises the robot tool. The cost of a robot has also come down sharply, with the ROI for complex installations now down to under two years. In addition, a robot project is often good for the company’s image, giving it particular momentum and innovative impetus with customers, suppliers and employees.
A robot that has been reconfigured and fitted with different peripheral equipment can be assigned to different tasks. Its flexibility makes it well suited to small production runs.
The robot is a standard tool manufactured in large quantities. Its characteristics are fully known. Unlike a special machine, it is easy to maintain and spare parts are readily available.
An SME does not always have the in-house personnel resources required to manage the robot. The integrator supports the SME throughout the robotisation process and trains operators to manage the robot cell autonomously.
Actemium rolled out a robot solution at a plant belonging to Sud Aéro, an SME that manufactures and assembles aeronautical structural parts. Rather than relocating, the SME decided to robotise in order to reduce production costs and increase profitability. It achieved these goals, reducing costs by 30%, and plans to hire about 20 additional employees.