The importance of robot rentals in manufacturing

Robot rentals represent an important shift in the way robots are deployed in industrial and factory settings, particularly with the advent of collaborative robots.


Courtesy: Bob Vavra, CFE MediaRobot rentals are a relatively new phenomenon in the world of robotics, but they represent an important shift in the way robots are deployed in industrial and factory settings.

Robot rentals are as the name implies—companies can rent robots and pay by the hour. The company renting performs all of the maintenance and upkeep and responds if there is an equipment breakdown. The factory renting benefits from consistent uptime and lower initial costs to own a robot.

Collaborative robots' role in the rental business model

The rise of collaborative robots are the primary reason that robot rentals can work on a practical level. Industrial robots require quite a bit of additional equipment for safety reasons. They also need several hours of programming by someone who’s been educated, trained and certified to program a robot. All of this increases the costs of renting a robot and also makes industrial robots unsuitable for many factory settings.

Collaborative robots, on the other hand, can be programmed easily by someone with no training at all. They’re inherently safe and don’t require additional safety equipment. But most importantly, collaborative robots are far cheaper than industrial robots. Basically, they’re cheap to rent and can be deployed immediately, making them a perfect fit for robot rentals.

The rental business model reduces the price of robotic adoption, lowering the automation barrier. In addition to the easy use and reliability of collaborative robots, this technology may start to appeal to a wider audience.

While robotic automation is certainly already prevalent in manufacturing settings, they’re most quickly adopted by large operations that quickly gain productivity by small efficiency enhancements. Collaborative robot rentals may open the door to higher adoption rates by smaller facilities, helping them compete in an increasingly automated world.

Robot rentals may be an important phenomenon in the robotics industry. Collaborative robots have been a disruptive force in the past few years, and it appears this trend will continue with the rising popularity of robot rentals.

This article originally appeared on the Robotics Online BlogRobotic Industries Association (RIA) is a part of the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), a CFE Media content partner. Edited by Chris Vavra, production editor, Control Engineering, CFE Media,

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