It’s easy to get caught up in the technological advances that come pouring into the manufacturing world each year. The robotics manufacturing industry alone is expanding every year. Like competition amongst neighbors for the newest riding mower, manufacturing plants are affected by a type of envy upon seeing their competitor with the newest, cutting-edge machinery. However, there are advantages to resisting the urge to keep up with the manufacturing “Joneses”.
Everyone knows that the newest technology always comes with glitches, bugs and defects that go unseen until the machines are in operation. Robotics manufacturing machines are no different. Oftentimes, the first buyers are guinea pigs who find out the problems that are fixed before future orders are completed. Wait until the second generation or updated versions are created before buying.
Sometimes that concept of a new machine works better than the actual machine. Why spend tens of thousands of dollars to discover that the robots you bought do not work well in your plant? Instead, ask the manufacturer to see the robots at work. If they have yet to sell the technology, just wait until they do. Just as you would before buying a car, you must test drive the machines to be sure that they will work for you.
With first generation technology, there is usually a “one size fits all”. The next generation product usually has more accessories, colors, and ways to customize it. The same is true in manufacturing robotics. Waiting for the next generation robotics will allow you to customize and improve upon the machinery. This will ensure that you are spending money on a piece of equipment that your company can and will use.
Another vital consideration in waiting for new robotics is the time it will take to get the right machine. Many plants need that time to shift workers, equipment, and plant space to accommodate the new technology. Once you spot a new robotics technology, begin preparing for it. Once the second generation is created, you and your workforce will be ready to welcome the new technology into the plant.
Keeping up with the Joneses is never easy or very wise. However, resisting is often difficult, especially if your fiercest competitor is the “Jones” that your are trying to keep up with. Just remember the time and money savings that you will reap by waiting and your competitor’s waste by purchasing the first robot off the assembly line.