Date Published: 22-05-2020
There are amazing things happening with autonomous mobile robotics and decision makers within many companies can easily imagine how efficient these systems could make their own facilities.
There are many great systems out there and you can automate to levels only dreamed about not too long ago. Research into viable options can be overwhelming though.
The sizable investment for mobile robots requires that system implementation be planned properly
So, where do you start?
If you approach automation hastily things might not go well. The sizable investment for mobile robots requires that system implementation be planned properly, involves the correct team members, and follows the following steps:
Some of these steps might be more applicable than others depending on your specific situation and business, but all of these elements play an important role in the long term success of your robotic implementation.
Form a Robotics Committee:
Implementing your mobile robotics system is a huge undertaking and you need a full Robotics Committee that represents all departments including: management, accounting, manufacturing, facilities, IT and perhaps others depending on your organization.
Specify a Budget:
Robots range hugely in price, so it is critical that companies determine the true cost of implementing an autonomous robotics system. It is important to understand the related costs to prevent budget overruns and surprise charges. Some of the other charges that must also be considered is: software, consulting, updates and service contracts.
Identify Potential Suppliers and Platforms:
Once you identified your requirements and the budget is defined it’s time to a suitable supplier that align with your needs in key areas:
You may also have to factor in hiring permanent internal staff to maintain the robotics system in terms of infrastructure, repairs and software or system updates.
Perform Due Diligence:
Once you narrowed down key suppliers, take a look at their reputation, histories and relationships they maintain with their customers. Talk to their existing customers. Read reviews and articles online. Get all the needed information to make an informed decision.
Place Your Orders:
To procure all the elements for your installation as well as managing lead times and logistics, you might need to involve firms with specialized service in key areas, including:
Prepare Your Facility:
Preparing your facility for an autonomous robotics installation might mean initiating and overseeing modifications such as:
Test and Validate:
Once you have completed these steps you can begin testing. You must also verify that the efficiency you hoped to gain will be realized. Include the calculations for intended savings and compare that to the new process efficiency to prove the ROI:
Define Ongoing Maintenance Needs:
You will need ongoing services to maintain every aspect of your automation system - software updates, hardware upgrades, repairs and process development. It’s important to keep improving, that way you can leverage the system and ensure profitability and targeted ROI.