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Low-touch.  

Zero-touch.  

No-touch.  

With social distancing and heightened awareness of health and safety, mitigating the number of human touches is critical.

How can you reduce the number of touches in your production facility?

Companies interested in robotics and automation may not know where to begin. 

Here are three easy steps to implement robotics and automation at your facility:

  1. Start small.
  2. Prove out the metrics.
  3. Expand.

1) Start small.

Select one process you want to automate. 

 Easy targets are the three D’s: Dull, Dangerous and Dirty. 

 Think of tasks or processes that:

  • Have repetitive movements
  • Involve heavy lifting
  • Include long-distance walking or carrying
  • Require awkward motions
  • Are frustratingly boring and unengaging
  • Are intrinsically dirty and gross
These are the best places to introduce robots. Pick one, and then move on to the next step.

2) Prove out the metrics.

The two metrics that have always mattered still do: Performance and ROI. In addition, there are two more important metrics: Health and Safety.  Mitigating the number of touches performed by humans will be one of the driving forces of health and safety in this post-pandemic world. 

Together, these four metrics are going to justify the addition of a robot to your production process:

  • Performance
  • ROI
  • Health
  • Safety

Hint: one of the easiest ways to justify ROI is to implement a robot that utilizes End of Arm Tooling (EOAT). 

 Why? 

Because as soon as you prove that a robot can perform one task, all you have to do is bolt on a new EOAT for a second task, and now the robot performs dual functions. 

With EOAT companies like OnRobot and Schunk that have standardized the flange size and have quick couples for touchless changeover, it is super easy to find the right end effector for your second task.

OnRobot Quick Changer - fast tool changing within 5 seconds.  OnRobot has an incredibly wide selection of gripping solutions that are easy plug-n-play for a wide variety of applications.

Schunk tool change system with integrated air and electric feed-through for quick removal - no additional tools.

Schunk Co-act Gripper - simple plug-n-play on several collaborative robots.  It does not matter what robot you have (although we do recommend Yaskawa Motoman because of their excellent performance).

3) Expand.

With success from one robotics and automation project under your belt, you can scale up and expect to see similar metrics. The skill sets developed in the scaling process will help your company increase production, increase efficiency, and become flexible and adaptive to a zero-touch world. This is where you may want to consider creating a new job for a robot lead, a robot specialist, or a robot manager.

In a world defined by low-touch, the new metrics matter.

Align your team around health and safety. Let us help you with robotics and automation.

Call 855-727-6200 or schedule a Neff Power engineer discussion today.

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