According to recent studies, 88% of businesses worldwide have adopted automation into their infrastructure. What started as a simple design to help humans lift and carry heavy equipment, industrial manipulators have developed into advanced machines capable of thinking, learning, and performing countless activities more efficiently than humans, increasing production.
However, manipulators are not one-size-fits-all. Settling for cookie-cutter machinery can have severe and negative impacts on your business and bottom line. Read on to better understand the consequences of using the wrong equipment in your facility.
Industrial manipulators are vital tools to improve your employees’ overall safety and health. Designed for your warehouse, they quickly take on tasks that put physical strain on your employees.
Unfortunately, low-quality machinery can have the opposite effect – without proper tools, several types of injuries can happen. Let’s take a closer look at recent statistics of the most common injuries in warehouses (according to OHSA):
- Falling Items: There are over 50,000 people injured by falling objects in the country every year.
- Slips, Trips and Falls: 25% of accidental deaths in the industry are caused by these “general accidents.”
- Forklift Incidents: Forklifts are involved in approximately 85 deaths and almost 35,000 serious injuries every year.
- Ergonomic Strain: Almost 1.8 million workers suffer from ergonomic-related injuries stemming from poor ergonomic designs and improper lifting practices.
The risk and cost of these types of injuries are relatively high. An injury can result in labor loss due to recovery periods, compensation claims and even lawsuits. According to the Economic Policy Institute, US Companies pay roughly $250 billion per year due to workplace injuries.
So, what does this mean for you and your industrial manipulator? The machine you choose should be built to properly service the needs of your business to effectively meet safety standards and reduce injuries related to accidents and employee mistakes.
Inefficient equipment slows down productivity and harms your bottom line. No warehouse manager wants to think about their newest purchase not functioning correctly, but at some point, any machine will need repairs. Of course, the difference is how frequently those repairs are needed, how soon issues begin appearing and how costly the repairs will be.
On average, manufacturers deal with up to 800 hours of downtime annually stemming from machine maintenance, leading to negative impacts on the organization. Here’s how:
- Wasted Labor: When machines stop working suddenly, the employees who operate those machines become useless, which leads to wasted labor costs. In addition to the loss per hour, you are also paying employees for doing nothing.
- Depleted Inventory: Many organizations need to maintain a certain number of products in the warehouse to keep the operation running. Downtimes can quickly deplete the inventory. When there are production limits and you don’t have backup machines to take over in case of downtime, it can take days or even months to catch up.
- Loss of Production: Loss of production capacity is the most visible and devastating impact of downtime. Suppose your manufacturing unit produces 600 units per hour, with an average of $50 profit per unit; one hour of downtime can cost your company more than $10,000 in lost revenue.
To prevent these periods of costly downtime, you should look for machines built to meet strict quality standards and have long lifespans. Don’t settle for any manipulator or lift assist that cannot last at least 15 years with proper use and maintenance. Doing so will lead to excessive and costly downtime due to repairs and replacement.
Equipment failure extends beyond just financial losses – your products and inventory also take a direct hit. When machines and equipment are not functioning correctly, the quality of the device handling each product component drops significantly, increasing the risk of damage. For example, if an automated robot breaks down while in use, it could cause sparks and ruin whatever products are in its way.
Inefficient machines create three different defect losses as products are transported through the production line. Let’s break them down.
- Scrap Loss: Occurs when products do not meet the quality specifications needed to sell the product and cannot be reused, so the material must be scraped and wasted.
- Rework Loss: Occurs when those quality specifications are not met, but the product can be reprocessed into goods. In this case, it is still considered a loss because the effort spent to process the product twice is a waste.
- Startup Losses: Startup losses occur when the first products don’t meet specifications due to product not being immediately stable after starting the equipment.
Product damages don’t have to be a common occurrence in your facility. Working with high-quality machines will help prevent these losses, improving your bottom line in the long run.
Benefits of Using Proper Equipment
Your industrial manipulator must work exactly the way you need it to. Going cheap might save money in the short term, but that bargain-basement machinery may cost much more. Custom manipulators allow you to:
- Operate exactly as you need
- Add application-specific tools as needed
- Create a safer industrial environment for your employees
- Execute orders faster and meet production needs perfectly (without slow-downs or your operators having to manually intervene to complete specific tasks)
- Avoid replacing machines as quickly as an “out of the box” manipulator
At Dalmec, our durable industrial manipulators are designed to withstand the demands of your manufacturing facility. With customized options, we can build a material handler that fits your needs to avoid these consequences and will last for years to come.
Ready to learn more? Contact our team today to find the perfect manipulator for your company.