Friday, July 23, 2021

When Buying a Robot Doesn't Make Sense

Malcolm Kerr, Head of Growth and GTM Strategy  

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 the foreseeable future? 
  • Will any process before or after this system change?
  • Will part mix change?
  • Is the system prone to breaking or wear and tear
  • Will the system need expensive maintenance?

Manufacturers fall short of these assurances for one or more of these five reasons:

  • Time: Manufacturers are making stuff! They simply don’t have the time to fully vet projects to be completely sure they’re getting the best value for the system/integrator.
  • Capital: Budgeting for large capital projects is painful and/or slow even for well-capitalized manufacturers.
  • Lack of Expertise: Manufacturers can't feel confident in their decisions without understanding the costs associated with automating.
  • Production Uncertainty: It is impossible to justify buying an expensive machine without knowing the long term plans for production.
  • Risk: Avoiding expensive surprises is crucial. If a system has the potential for expensive breakage, manufacturers can't move forward with confidence.

At Formic, we take a different approach. Manufacturers only pay for the hours where the system is running as promised. We assume the risk. And when the system is no longer needed, we’ll remove it from your facility.

With hiring a robot from Formic, the only question manufacturers need to ask themselves is: what do I need automated right now?

Robotics Finance