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.

08/11/2018


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, cvavra@cfemedia.com.



Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
November 2018
2018 Product of the Year finalists, mild steel welding: finding the right filler, and new technique joins aluminum to steel.
October 2018
Tools vs. sensors, functional safety, compressor rental, an operational network of maintenance and safety
September 2018
2018 Engineering Leaders under 40, Women in Engineering, Six ways to reduce waste in manufacturing, and Four robot implementation challenges.
October 2018
2018 Product of the Year; Subsurface data methodologies; Digital twins; Well lifecycle data
August 2018
SCADA standardization, capital expenditures, data-driven drilling and execution
June 2018
Machine learning, produced water benefits, programming cavity pumps
Summer 2018
Microgrids and universities, Steam traps and energy efficiency, Finding help with energy projects
October 2018
Complex upgrades for system integrators; Process control safety and compliance
November 2018
Analytics quantify processes, Fieldbus networking and IIoT, Choosing the right accelerometer

Annual Salary Survey

After two years of economic concerns, manufacturing leaders once again have homed in on the single biggest issue facing their operations:

It's the workers—or more specifically, the lack of workers.

The 2017 Plant Engineering Salary Survey looks at not just what plant managers make, but what they think. As they look across their plants today, plant managers say they don’t have the operational depth to take on the new technologies and new challenges of global manufacturing.

Read more: 2017 Salary Survey

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Material Handling
This digital report explains how everything from conveyors and robots to automatic picking systems and digital orders have evolved to keep pace with the speed of change in the supply chain.
Electrical Safety Update
This digital report explains how plant engineers need to take greater care when it comes to electrical safety incidents on the plant floor.
IIoT: Machines, Equipment, & Asset Management
Articles in this digital report highlight technologies that enable Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
Design of Safe and Reliable Hydraulic Systems for Subsea Applications
This eGuide explains how the operation of hydraulic systems for subsea applications requires the user to consider additional aspects because of the unique conditions that apply to the setting
click me