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Understanding the ROI of Product Automation Equipment

With the rise of Industry 4.0 technologies, smart factories and interest in product automation, our customers are naturally curious about the return on investment of robotic equipment, vision systems, conveyors or control systems. As reported in Machine Design, one of the most popular online search queries is “How much does a robot cost?”

Indeed, product automation ROI is on the mind of every manufacturing leader when it comes to justifying increases in capital costs and operational improvements. Of course, the top benefit of automation includes labor cost reductions, especially in today’s worker shortage environment.

But we also know robotic equipment can improve quality while producing less waste, which drives higher profits. According to SME, a nonprofit association serving professionals in the manufacturing industry, retaining workers for repetitive tasks can be challenging and finding new help is expensive.

Yet SME also reports the average ROI of robotic automation equipment is just two years, a compelling stat that’s led more companies to invest in automation. To determine the ROI of your product automation investments, we encourage our customers to figure in other costs such as sensors, connectors, cables, mounting hardware and area prep, which could include installing backup power devices and adding safety barriers.

The Indisputable 4 Benefits of Product Automation

Robotics & Automation News provides extensive coverage of the manufacturing automation industry. The publication recently cited four benefits of automation:

  1. Lower operating/labor costs — Automation offers tremendous value for the investment in the long run. Depending on the task, a single machine can perform the work of three to five people.
  2. Increased productivity — Machines can work unattended around the clock while moving at constant speeds: no breaks or long lunches.
  3. Better product quality — Machines typically perform tasks with greater accuracy and more conformity than people. The result is more consistent quality and more “shipped” products, and fewer returns due to defects.
  4. Increased workplace safety — Through automation, fewer workers need to perform hazardous manufacturing tasks, such as injecting hazardous chemicals or liquids into containers.

We’ll help you achieve your ROI goals

By 2025 the global industrial automation market is expected to reach nearly $275 billion. Whether you’re considering a new conveyor, improved vision system or more capable robots, Summit Engineered Automation can help you integrate your systems while providing precise ROI estimates based on our decades of experience.

Despite product automation’s compelling benefits, there is still a lot of room to grow. A recent survey by Honeywell Intelligrated found fewer than one-third of surveyed companies had yet to implement any automation solutions. Yet, “There are several scalable solutions available where companies can see an immediate return on investment at a lower cost of entry.” 

The future looks very bright for companies that want to maintain a competitive advantage against their peers through strategic product automation investments.

Want to learn more about how product automation can increase manufacturing productivity and lower operating costs? Let’s talk.