Frequently Asked Questions

  • How does Formic’s RaaS model work?

    Companies today have limited capital budgets, and when they do have it, they search for the highest impact opportunities. Formic’s solution is a way to automate purely out of operating budgets (OpEx) - paying an hourly or monthly rate for a specified output (for example, $15/hr to move 10 boxes per minute onto a pallet). Our model takes the burden and risk away from manufacturers. There is zero upfront cost in most cases, and instead, only one low rate. Results and savings are immediate on day 1.

  • Who owns the equipment?

    Formic owns and supports the equipment. As a part of our full-service offering, Formic handles everything - from equipment installation and operator training to all predictive and reactive maintenance necessary to maximize uptime at no additional cost to you.

  • How is this different from an equipment lease?

    Equipment leases typically cover the cost of hardware and engineering only, and do not include engineering studies, performance guarantees, equipment reprogramming, or maintenance. Our RaaS model is built to be all-inclusive, with in-house automation experience and support.

  • How can Formic offer a cost-effective RaaS offering relative to purchasing or leasing?
    1. Technology: We use technology at every step of the scoping, quoting, deployment, and maintenance phases to bring efficiency to the process, and we pass those efficiencies on to our customers.
    2. Scale: From procurement to maintenance, everything we do is at scale. We pass those efficiencies on to our customers.
  • What applications can Formic automate?

    We support a variety of applications in manufacturing and logistics: palletizing, depalletizing, case packing, welding, machine tending, bin picking, material removal, and more.

  • Where can I see examples of deployed systems?

    We have public examples on our website under Resources / Customer Stories (here)

  • What are machine users responsible for?

    The machine operators are responsible for receiving training. Per our agreement, you must designate one or more employees to receive training on the system.

  • Is there a minimum contract?

    Contracts are unique to each customer and can vary from 1-6 years. In some cases, we can also offer a brief trial period to help customers feel comfortable with the RaaS model.

  • What if the machine has a problem?

    Our business model is built off of a simple premise: we are not successful unless our customers are producing. All of our robots are backed by our Formic Guarantee, which features 5 lines of defense, the most severe of which is a full replacement at Formic’s cost. In summary, we proactively and reactively support your automation system, and you are only invoiced for the operating hours when the equipment meets your requirements. Any accrued downtime is credited to your account for future use, or you can alternatively choose to be reimbursed with the dollar-value compensation.

  • What is the hourly rate?

    Formic systems are billed monthly, but we often translate that to an hourly rate for easy comparison to labor rates. The hourly rate depends on the application, your usage rate, and contract lifetime, but it ranges from $8 per hour to $40 per hour. In general, longer contracts, simpler applications, and higher usage equate to lower hourly wage. Another benefit: The overtime rate is discounted down from the standard rate! Our systems typically save customers 42% on their OpEx relative to manual labor on the first day.

  • How fast can you deploy a system for us?

    Scoping to deployment can occur in as little as 6 weeks. The actual time depends on your application and how quickly we can gather the info we need and lead time of the all the components we need to purchase.

  • What happens when we add new SKUs to our production?

    To address changeovers and future needs, we offer one free programming addition per year, barring any new hardware. In the event that new hardware is needed, we can work with you in one of three ways: 1) Increase the contract term to offset the additional system cost. 2) Increase the hourly billing rate for the remainder of the contract. 3) Pass through the additional cost in one single payment.

  • How do I financially account for a Formic system?

    You should consult with a certified tax firm in your area, but Formic considers our system to be an operational expense only, which is expensed as it is incurred. By the current ASC definitions and standards, it is our opinion that the system should not be an asset on your balance sheet, there should not be any depreciation expenses, and there is no capital debt when you use our service.