How cobot palletizing can help businesses fulfil objectives

How cobot palletizing can help businesses fulfil objectives
How cobot palletizing can help businesses fulfil objectives

As factory automation becomes accessible to even the smallest businesses, cobot (collaborative robot) palletizing is one of the first areas business owners are looking to explore. Of the many robot applications, palletizing is a popular choice to drive workplace efficiency, overcome staff shortages and keep human workers safe. Here are just five of the ways a turnkey cobot palletizing solution can help your business reach its key objectives.

Employee safety

Manual palletizing is hazardous, even for the most safety-conscious and resilient employees. Proper training and enlisting workers with the right physical capabilities can minimize the risks, but a heavy task like palletizing is inherently risky. It can cause immediate accidents and lead to long-term health concerns from repetitive heavy lifting.

The Australian Institute for Health and Safety ranked “lifting, carrying or putting down objects” as a top three cause of musculoskeletal injuries in the workplace. And in the UK, the Government's Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found that 20% of non-fatal workplace injuries were due to handling, lifting or carrying tasks.

It's not just heavy loads that pose a risk either. UK law firm JMW states that “overexertion and tiredness” is the top cause of injury, particularly when carrying out tasks essential to palletizing like lifting, pulling and pushing. For businesses struggling with labor shortages, there’s a real risk that overworked employees could put themselves at greater risk of injury during overtime.

Cobot palletizingwill protect your people from injury or reduce the risk greatly. For example, your cobot could replace night-shift workers and allow your people to work when they’re well rested and alert. Or, it could work alongside your people (subject to risk assessment clearance) to boost your stacking and packing capacity without pushing human workers to the point of exhaustion.

Reliable labor

Manufacturing and packing businesses across the world are experiencing persistent labor shortages and, frustratingly, the problem looks set to get worse. Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute predict that by 2030 the manufacturing skills gap will lead to 2.1 million vacant positions across the US alone. Even for businesses that offer attractive compensation packages, it’s going to become ever-more difficult to find the right talent.

Bringing in palletizing cobots can give your business a much-needed capacity boost. Your cobot or cobots can handle tasks that are ripe for automation and your human operatives can complete work that cannot be automated, perhaps due to complexity or price. You'll get more out of your people and can take a mind-numbing task off their hands at the same time – making retention easier by boosting worker satisfaction.

How cobot palletizing can help businesses fulfil objectives
How cobot palletizing can help businesses fulfil objectives

Workplace efficiency

Humans are invaluable and have lots of unique strengths machines can’t replicate, but one area cobots shine in is ruthless efficiency. One study found that robots can increase productivity by 30% and many require little to zero downtime in a 24-hour period. Unlike people, robots don’t need to sleep, eat or take breaks to keep working at maximum efficiency. They also free up humans’ time to complete work that’s more fulfilling – boosting outputs and happiness.

Many businesses resist installing industrial robots due to their large footprint, made larger by necessary safety barriers. Cobots are modular and can be mounted from ceilings or on moveable units to make them easier to redeploy or move out of the way. Lots cobot can also operate with minimal or no safety barriers (subject to risk assessment), making them suitable for even small environments.

Lower operational costs

In the current worker climate, keeping your business at optimal staffing levels can mean using expensive agency operatives. Even recruiting permanent workers can impact your budget, with the average employee’s recruitment costs just over $4,000. One worker can also only cover 8-12 hours of the day, doubling the cost to keep on task running 24/7. Cobots can cut the cost of production and allow you to invest across your business – everywhere from boosting your staff’s salaries to upgrading your equipment.

Typically, most customers achieve ROI on their cobot in less than 12 months. Our turnkey solution partners can provide detailed modelling that helps your business understand how quickly your cobot will pay for itself. And if your business isn’t in a position to invest in a cobot outright, Universal Robots offers a leasing option that allows you to reap the benefits of cobots without upfront costs.

How cobot palletizing can help businesses fulfil objectives
How cobot palletizing can help businesses fulfil objectives

A turnkey solution

One common concern among business owners who are considering investing in robotics is that they don’t have a high enough level of technical understanding. A turnkey cobot palletizing solution is suitable for owners, managers and production line staff who have limited technical knowledge. One of our 310 UR+ partners can guide you through the entire process from design to installation to setup. They can make tweaks in-situ, making sure your cobot is optimized and ready to be put to work. Or you can opt for a customized, DIY configuration using the UR+ ecosystem of more than 440 components.

Interested in finding out more about a palletizing cobot? Get in touch with one of our experts.

Universal Robots

We believe that collaborative robotic technology can be used to benefit all aspects of task-based businesses – no matter what their size.

We believe that the latest collaborative robot technology should be available to all businesses. The nominal investment cost is quickly recovered as our robotic arms have an average payback period of just six months.

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  • Universal Robots USA, Inc
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  • 48377 Novi, MI
Contact us: +1 844-462-6268
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