Whatever the case, it’s critical that you consider the long-term value the right machinery can offer — and the expenses you’ll incur if you use the wrong ones.
Let’s look at the many ways an industrial manipulator or lift assist device can improve — or hurt — your bottom line.
Reduce Frequency of Employee Injuries
Industrial manipulators and lift assists are designed to aide employees in the safe and speedy movement of bulky or heavy materials, which is crucial for an industry with so much opportunity for injury. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 2.6 million nonfatal workplace injuries occurred in private U.S. workplaces in 2021. And in 2019, 15% of workplace injuries occurred in manufacturing settings, which amounted to more than 400,000 affected workers. The most common causes for injury cited include overexertion and bodily reaction – both related to lifting.
Unfortunately, low-quality machinery can have the opposite effect, injuring the employees they were designed to protect. For example, if an employee tries to fix an issue with a manipulator on their own — by say, removing an item that is stuck within the grip of the machine — they risk having the item, often heavy or sharp, fall on them.
The risk and cost of these types of injuries are both quite high. An accident can result in everything from loss in labor due to time spent away from work to recover, workers’ compensation claims and even lawsuits. Nearly 90% of injuries result in at least one day of missed work and many require significantly more recuperation time. And incredibly, average workers’ compensation costs for a single work-related injury were a whopping $41,353.
So, what does this mean for you and your industrial manipulator? The machine you choose should be built to meet safety standards, and the company you purchase from should feel comfortable to discuss the safety record of their machines. Never eschew safety in the search for low prices, as you’re likely to find a machine with a low upfront price tag may come with an increased risk for your employees.
It may sound obvious, but you’ll never be able to predict when your machine will stop working.
No one wants to think about their new machine not functioning properly, but any machine will need repairs at some point. The difference, of course, is how frequently those repairs are needed, how early in the life of the machine the issues begin appearing and how costly the repairs will be.
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’s not able to last at least 15 years with proper use and maintenance. Doing so will result in excessive and costly downtime because of repairs and replacement.
Of course, the biggest cost related to your lift assist being down isn’t the repairs or replacements — it’s the revenue you’ll lose from being unable to fulfill your production requirements. If you’re unable to produce your products for hours or days, you face the potential of missing revenue goals and disappointing customers. You might even leave the door open to losing them completely. For your business’s health, you must carefully consider your manipulator purchase.
Boost Speed of Production
A quality industrial manipulator or lift assist should allow you to both simplify and speed up your production process. Unfortunately, this is not true for all machines. In addition to the slowdowns that can be caused by downtime or employee injuries, the design of a machine can have a big impact on how your production moves along.
In general, a custom-built lift assist is superior to an “out of the box” machine, as it will have been designed to work seamlessly with your environment, production materials and employees. On the other hand, a pre-made machine may not meet the exact specifications you need, resulting in additional work for employees as they try to carefully manage the shortcomings of the machine. These “workarounds” often slow down product at best, and result in costly and avoidable employee injuries at worst.
Depending on the production requirements, having the right equipment can also mean fewer personnel are needed on the assembly line. With fewer employees needed, you can reduce your staffing expenditures or move current employees to other positions where their skills can be put to better use.
Choosing The Right Lift Assist or Industrial Manipulator
So, remember, when you’re looking to choose the lift assist or industrial manipulator that will help save your organization money, be sure to ask the following three questions:
What is the average lifespan of the machine?
Is the machine designed with safety in mind?
Is the machine designed to work seamlessly with your unique work environment?
Answering these questions will help you steer clear of money-sucking machines and ensure your work environment is safe for your employees and operating at peak efficiency.
If you’re looking to learn more about the lift assist device options that Dalmec has available, contact us today.
Want to stay up-to-date on all of our company’s latest news?