Resources

When Buying a Robot Doesn't Make Sense

Friday, July 23, 2021

The pervasive feeling in the manufacturing space is, when you need something automated, you need to go out and buy a robot. However, before putting up a huge amount of capital on a new system, manufacturers need to ask themselves: Do I have the right system for the job? Am I getting this system at the best possible price? Do I have the budget for this project? Do I have the right system integrator? Will we need this system for...

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Why Some Smaller Manufacturers Never Get Started With Automation

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

If automation was as simple as getting a loan, buying the system, and making more money, every business in the country would be automated. Unfortunately, there are some large roadblocks standing between small businesses and complete optimization of their production lines. Too Many Options The “too many options” paralysis applies to not only the equipment specifications (which vendor to use for the grippers/sensors? Which robot make and model?), but also the number of vendors available to scope the application. There...

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What Does the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act Mean for U.S. Manufacturers?

Friday, June 11, 2021

On Tuesday, the Senate passed the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act, a bipartisan bill that aims to spend $250 billion on scientific research and development to bolster competitiveness against China. It has not yet passed the House. The bipartisan support for this bill reflects the sense of urgency policymakers feel with regards countering the substantial investments China has made into bolstering their technological sophistication. “It is long past time that we invest in American workers and American innovation,” Biden said...

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Why is Robotics-as-a-Service So Important Right Now?

Thursday, May 27, 2021

This Q&A with Misa and I was originally featured on RoboticsTomorrow.com, you can read the original article here. What is Formic, and who are the co-founders? Formic is a robotics-as-a-service company that is fundamentally changing the way industrial robotics are scoped and deployed. We handle all of the logistics of an automation deployment, from scoping and customization to installation and maintenance. We don’t charge any money upfront, only a low hourly rate, which is typically 42% less than what companies pay...

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Robots Gone Wrong, Volume 1

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Robotic automation has the potential to produce incredible returns for facilities who choose to deploy, but it can also be quite the resource drain when applications do not work out as planned.  Sometimes these issues are easily fixed with basic troubleshooting or reprogramming, other times this downtime can wreak havoc on production processes and cause critical problems for manufacturers. Issues with robotic systems can take many forms: an improperly scoped and deployed system, a broken part, a shift in upstream...

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Keep Your Cash and Deploy Automation - WMEP Manufacturing Solutions Webinar

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Recording of webinar below: Traditionally manufacturers have had few financing options to deploy automation within their operations. Recent developments allow manufacturers to rent automation equipment, utilize Machines as a Service (MaaS), and guarantee equipment performance based on production KPIs. WMEP will explore these options with industry partners to give real-world case studies on options to bring automation into your facility. By attending this webinar, you will walk away with having an understanding of alternative financing models for automation that keep...

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How is Formic Different from other Robot-as-a-Service Companies?

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Robotics-as-a-service is a hot and growing space, and continues to rise in popularity due to its flexibility, scalability, and low barrier to entry. In fact, ABI Research predicts that there will be 1.3 million installations of RaaS by 2026. This is quite a significant number when you consider that there are only approximately 2.7 million robots at work in factories today. I wrote a blog post delving into this a few weeks ago that you can find here.  One question...

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Which is a Better Deal - Buying or Renting Robots By-The-Hour?

Monday, April 26, 2021

We're often asked by manufacturers whether buying their own automation saves them money in comparison with Formic's "Full-Service Automation" model. The answer is: it depends. In some situations buying makes more sense, and others where Formic's usage-based pricing is better. To help our customers with this comparison, we've put together a framework for answering these questions, along with a case study for a real-world deployment. When buying automation, we suggest manufacturers consider the total cost of ownership & operation when...

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Buy American: Connecting Government Funding to the American Workforce

Thursday, April 15, 2021

Time: 12:00 p.m. CT - 1:00 p.m. CT With the announcement of several Executive Orders, including the Buy American EO and the American Supply Chain EO, the U.S. government has renewed its interest in procuring American goods and services. As such, there are many opportunities for small businesses to secure government funding and participate in a historic rebuild of the American economy. But many small businesses are asking: where do I even begin? Join Formic and MxD for a webinar...

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What is "Robotics-as-a-Service," and How Is It Different From the Traditional Approach?

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

First, what are “as-a-service” models, and why are they gaining popularity? “As-a-service” models are defined by a good or service being made available “as needed” (this could be monthly pricing or usage based pricing). Upfront costs are usually negligible or non-existent. Contract lengths are flexible, allowing users to take advantage of the good or service only as they need it. The business assumes the responsibility for servicing and upgrades throughout the duration of the contract.  These models have exploded in popularity...

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Manufacturing CFO Challenges with Automation - Part 2

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Recently we published a blog discussing automation for manufacturing CFOs.  We have received some questions on that post and so this is a follow up to that original post to answer those questions. Question:  Should I be concerned if I install Formic’s automation solution that my manufacturing process could be negatively impacted if Formic’s machines break? Answer: Although there is always a risk that a machine can break, Formic has designed our process to limit the risk of downtime based...

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Manufacturing CFO Challenges with Automation - Part 1

Thursday, April 1, 2021

The job of a CFO has grown and evolved over the years. Many CFOs now have responsibilities that go beyond the traditional role of accounting and financial statements—to risk management, financial planning and analysis, expense reduction, treasury, human resources, mergers and acquisitions, technology, legal, etc. For CFOs at manufacturing companies, supporting and growing their business, often with a finite budget, while limiting risk can be challenging. US manufacturing companies exist in an environment where many positions go unfilled—hampering growth and...

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What Types of Tasks Are Good For Automation?

Friday, March 26, 2021

There’s enough buzz around robotic automation in recent years that most manufacturers have at least tossed around the idea of whether it’s right for them. If the idea of growing your bottom line while improving processes and reducing costs excites you, then it’s certainly worth consideration. However, not all tasks can be automated or would benefit from automation.  Once a tool limited only to manufacturing giants, industrial robotics are now more accessible and cost-effective for smaller manufacturers, opening doors of...

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You Build Things, We Can Help

Friday, March 12, 2021

This nation was founded on the defiant idea that there’s nothing we can’t do. When we don’t see a solution, we roll up our sleeves and make one. A legacy we are proud to live up to. Every day, business is built by hand; reliable hands that don’t know the meaning of the word stop. Hands that do what they’ve always done, build solutions.We are that set of hands.Putting robotics in place within your operation. Solving your problems without creating any....

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