Resources

Why Do Customers Choose Formic?

Monday, November 22, 2021

Although no two manufacturers are entirely alike, many of them face similar challenges with regards to productivity, output, labor, and capital improvement initiatives. Any manufacturer considering automation thinks through their choice of partner carefully: there is a high cost of failure, and any production hiccup can impact both top line revenue and operational expenses. There are also a broad range of automation partners and financing strategies, adding layers of complexity. So why do customers choose Formic? 1. Wants to preserve...

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Why the U.S. Needs to Automate Now

Thursday, November 11, 2021

The current state of the U.S. labor market speaks for itself. It is estimated that almost 2.1 million jobs in manufacturing could go unfilled by 2030, according to a study by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute.  New automation technology can help the U.S. bridge this gap, yet it is still very common to walk on to a small to mid-sized manufacturing floor and only see machinery from before the 90s. The U.S. market for automation is growing - with 29,000...

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Jack Wagler: "Formic is Offering a Service Like Uber"

Friday, October 22, 2021

Jack Wagler, Treasurer and VP of Finance at Formic What is your position, and how involved are you with incoming customer deals?  What we are doing is very unique. When you are offering a new solution like RaaS, you have to have new contracts and new documentation to allow that to happen. A key part of my involvement with the customers is to build the framework for the arrangement between the customer and us.  When we have an opportunity to...

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The Challenge with Industry 4.0 that No One is Talking About

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

The Technology Homo sapiens have been alive for slightly over 300,000 years. Incredibly, however, our most powerful technological inventions - the steam engine, mass production and digital technology - have all occurred within the last 250 years, a blink of an eye on the timescale of our existence.  Now, in 2021, we are in the midst of a fourth revolution - aptly named “Industry 4.0”. Google searches for the term have increased by 2400% since 2014 and patents related to...

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Kyle Kidwell, An Engineering Perspective on Automation

Friday, October 15, 2021

Kyle Kidwell, an application engineer at Formic. Responsible for evaluating potential automation applications, managing projects, and engaging with customers.  What is your proudest accomplishment working at Formic? I would say my proudest accomplishment doesn’t necessarily have anything to do specifically with individual effort. I would say that as a team we have worked to develop a system that  allows us to deploy a robot a lot quicker and is improving our time to quote, our time to get a contract...

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The Fabricator

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Misa Ilkhechi has seen his share of idle welding robots. With stints in sales and engineering at companies like Bosch and, most recently, Universal Robots, Ilkhechi would visit various metal fabrication facilities, see a busy welding department, and yet also see a robot welding cell gathering dust. Sometimes the company couldn’t find time to train someone to run it. Other times, a large project ended and the shop just couldn’t find another use for the automation. And by the time...

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5 Robotics Companies Revolutionizing the World in 2021 - Part 2

Monday, October 11, 2021

1. SIMBE ROBOTICS  Simbe Robotics is helping brick-and-mortar retail stores optimize their shelves and their profits. “Tally'' is an autonomous robot that tracks inventory to ensure that everything the customer wants is on the shelf. This is a serious problem for regional retailers; according to the IHL group, over 24% of Amazon’s current retail revenue comes from customers who first tried to buy the product in-store. Companies like grocery stores - who have such a strong flow of products in...

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Saman Farid, The Co-Founder Story

Friday, October 8, 2021

Saman Farid, the CEO and Co-Founder of Formic shares his observations on the current state of U.S. manufacturing and the robotics industry.  In your own words, what is Formic to you? Formic puts robots to work where they can make a difference - in factories that need reliable, cost effective, and capable throughput. How did you come into the robotics industry? This idea? I’ve been fascinated by robots since I was a kid, but after studying automation and learning about...

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Polar Manufacturing and Formic Machine Tending Solution

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Industry: Machining Application: Machine Tending The Company Polar Manufacturing was established 105 years ago in Chicago, Illinois, and specializes in a broad range of door and truck body hardware for industrial applications. These products include, but are not limited to, locking handles, latches, and rope rings. It’s a broad product set, but Polar’s deep experience and stable of machines makes that breadth of production possible.  Before working with Formic, Polar had no automation deployed in their facility due to cost. ...

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5 Robotics Companies Revolutionizing the World in 2021 - Part 1

Monday, October 4, 2021

1. AMP ROBOTICS  Each year, over 139 million tons of American trash is discarded into landfills. Not only are these landfills an eyesore, but they also emit methane gas, leak dangerous chemicals and harm biodiversity. Fortunately, Amp Robotics is using artificial intelligence to solve America’s waste problem. Currently, the U.S. recycles 34.6% of its garbage, far below some nations which have rates bordering on 70%. However, Amp’s sorting robots - which sort recycling twice as fast as humans with greater...

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Misa Ilkhechi, The Co-Founder Story

Friday, September 17, 2021

Misa Ilkhechi, the Co-Founder and VP of Sales answers some big questions about him and his story with Formic.  In your own words, what is Formic to you? Formic is the first automation solution that guarantees system uptime while lowering the barrier to entry for manufacturers with its flexible pay as you go model. The flexibility and uptime guarantee eliminates the risk completely for manufacturers who have been on the fence and have been looking to automate for years.  How...

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How Robots Can Solve the Labor Crisis in Manufacturing

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Although manufacturing’s share of employment in the U.S. has dropped from 33% in 1947 to under 8% in 2019, it is currently the manufacturers who are desperately searching for workers and not the other way around. In fact, according to a study performed by the Workforce Institute at UKG, 54% of U.S. manufacturing firms reported extreme difficulty in hiring and retaining new workers in 2021.  It is important to understand just how dire the the situation has become. Manufacturers say...

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The Most Common Tasks of Automation

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

When questioning whether or not automation is a necessity, the easiest answer is to provide clear examples of how it is the most useful and essential tool. In today’s world, many manufacturers still depend heavily on the working hands of people, even if these tasks may be dangerous or extremely repetitive. Most of these tasks are difficult to hire because of their reputation and the staffing shortfall leads to motivations to raise wages. These losses can be catastrophic when small...

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Formic Launch Press Release

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

First Fully Customized Robotics-as-a-Service Offering Lets Manufacturers ‘Hire’ Popular Robots at Low Hourly Rate By handling every aspect of financing and deployment, Formic empowers manufacturers to save money from day one and boost production.  CHICAGO, IL — August 24, 2021-- Robotics-as-a-service company Formic Technologies launched today with a simple value proposition: hire fully customized robots from top vendors at a low hourly rate and  no upfront cost. To help small and medium-size manufacturers benefit from automation, Formic handles every aspect...

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Reuters

Thursday, August 26, 2021

LIVERMORE, Calif., Aug 26 (Reuters) - Silicon Valley has a new pitch to persuade small companies to automate: rent-a-robot. Better technology and the need to pay higher wages to humans have produced a surge in sales of robots to big companies all across America. But few of these automatons are making it into smaller factories, which are wary of big upfront costs and lacking robot engineering talent. read more

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Building and Financing Automation, versus Robotics-as-a-Service ("RaaS") - Which is Right For You?

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Automation is practically a requirement for any manufacturing business that expects to compete today. An established company that wants to get automation typically has to pay with cash, take out a loan (e.g. from a bank), or get specific equipment financing to purchase the equipment.  This CAPEX equipment purchase uses money that the business could otherwise have used to grow.   However, there is an additional aspect that companies may not consider—the risk and cost of the implementation.  Unless a company...

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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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