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 capital for other business expenses
Formic takes the burden off their shoulders, charging no upfront fees, so no need to pay for equipment and engineering costs. Formic charges nothing but a low hourly rate, and only when that system is functioning. On average, this saves manufacturers 42% on operational expenses and $25K annually per system.
Now, manufacturers are given greater freedom to invest their capital into other business expenses to achieve bigger and more ambitious goals. This may be expanding into other geographical areas, growing their customer base, investing in their employees, or possibly into more automation.
2. Struggling to hire and retain employees
Automation provides a solution to manufacturers who have shifts to fill. With the current labor shortage, this is a common reality for many small to mid-sized manufacturers in the United States. With the help of Formic’s “Robotics-as-a-Service'' model, manufacturers can reduce their reliance on staffing while reducing operational expenses. Formic enables companies to pay for any automation by the hour, with rates as low as $8 an hour.
3. Unsure of future production needs
It is difficult for manufacturers to justify the high upfront cost of automation if they are unsure of their future production needs. Contract manufacturers, for example, have ever changing production needs, building relations with various customers as a turnkey supplier. An automation system could only be useful for as long as a single contract lasts, which may not be long enough to see a positive ROI. Robots can always be reprogrammed, but doing so with frequency can introduce more cost and production disruption.
Manufacturers can use Formic to their advantage in these situations. Formic can re-engineer a system to fit a manufacturer’s needs while still only charging for system uptime. For example, if a gripper is not capable of picking up a new product, Formic’s in-house engineers will take a look at the problem right away and work with the customer to reprogram the system within reason. This offers greater flexibility and OpEx predictability, which enables the justification of a broader range of automation applications.
4. Don't want to pay for unforeseen maintenance or reprogramming expenses
Each system that Formic puts on a shop floor is coupled with a platform that allows our engineers and customers to analyze and record production metrics. Formic takes careful measures to maintain the system’s uptime and keep it under a close watch. We proactively address any issues we see with system performance to maximize uptime. More importantly, we cover the engineering costs if the system ever goes below the agreed efficiency rate. It is to our advantage to sustain the system’s uptime -- we are not in the business of selling products or engineering hours.
This is all backed by our “Formic Guarantee,” meaning that customers will always have predictability on their bottom line, with no surprises.
5. Want to save money on OpEx from Day 1
Large capital expenditures typically have multi-year payback periods before they become ROI-positive. Due to Formic’s unique “Robotics-as-a-service” model, we can save manufacturers money from day one on their operational expenses at no risk to them.
Traditional equipment leases are unable to make the same claim, as large upfront engineering costs require a payback period despite the equipment costs being amortized over a longer period of time.
6. They are extremely busy and need a turnkey automation provider
Regardless of how much capital manufacturers have lying around, the one thing they tend to have in common is that they are extremely busy!
Our slogan “Automation Made Easy” refers to more than just our “Robotics-as-a-Service” model. We handle every element of a deployment, removing the project management and vendor selection duties. The customer is only in charge of taking a few photos and videos of the task they wish to automate and our in-house team of engineers will return with a quote within a few weeks time. Formic has dedicated their efforts to making this process simple and seamless for our customers.
Curious about our “Robotics-as-a-Service” offering? Click here to schedule an automation consultation today.