A common pitfall for novice robotics users is to only consider the cost of the robot. In reality, the cost of the robot is only one piece of the puzzle. Other considerations are: How many hours of production can you expect before the robot wears out? How expensive is it to perform routine maintenance on the robot? An inexpensive robot isn’t such a deal if it starts breaking down after one year of service!
The End-of-Arm Tooling. A well-designed end-of-arm tool goes a lot way to ensuring your robot deployment’s success. The robot needs to be able to pick and place the product with 100% consistency.
Part Presentation. How will the products move in and out of the work area? Conveyors? Trays? Like the end-of-arm tool, part presentation must be well designed in order to ensure project success.
Safety. A risk assessment must always be completed, even if a collaborative robot is being deployed. Remember that in some applications, collaborative robots must be guarded just like traditional industrial robots! Light curtains, safety mats, scanners, etc should be considered.
Other hardware. Depending on the application, other items such as pedestals, work benches, cable management, tool changers, vision systems, etc might be necessary.
For traditional industrial robot work cells, a good rule of thumb is that the cost of the robot represents about one-third of the total cost of the work cell. For collaborative robot work cells, that rule of thumb improves such that the cost of the robot represents about one-half of the total cost of the work cell.