Putting Idle Machines Back to Work
The worst-case scenario is when a machine sits idle due to a lack of manufacturing labor to manually load and unload. Lost production capacity impacts top line revenue, and in some cases threatens customer relationships as lead times slip out and delivery dates are missed. In the worst case, companies turn down new business and orders from established customers due to the reduced capacity. And compounding the pain, the idle machine continues to depreciate, takes up floor space, and may impact cash flow with interest expense.
Automating an idle machine has an immediate impact, as production volumes increase the top line revenue and the resulting contribution margin, while often reducing overtime expenses. It’s important to remember that cobot automation does not have to be limited to a 1 robot / 1 machine configuration. Depending on the shop layout and typical takt times, a single cobot can support 2 or even 3 machines.