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Determine ROI for your Palletizing Cobot Application
01. April 2020 / By Universal Robots / 2 Comments
When considering a palletizing solution powered by UR cobots on your production line, calculating the return on investment is crucial to determine whether to make an investment or not. For those of you considering palletizing with collaborative robots from Universal Robots, we’ve collected all the key information you need to make the calculation. You’ll be surprised how quickly a palletizing robot will make your investment worthwhile.
In this article you’ll find a full description of all costs related to investing in an UR palletizing robot and our forecasted ROI for a normal scenario.
Get a simulation and validate your project
It is important to determine whether a collaborative robot will work for your specific palletizing scenario. It can be straight forward, but sometimes it can be trickier due to the mix of palletizing variables such as product weight, cycle time, pallet height, pallet pattern and the number of different products for one production line.
Luckily there’s a solution on the market. Simulations have proven to be very effective to determine whether a collaborative robot will work for you. Most frequently used simulations tools support UR-robot models. However, that may require training and the tools can be costly. But not necessarily.
Our UR+ partner Rocketfarm can provide you with a simulation of your palletizing scenario. They offer videos of simulation based on your input, and have integrated the UR simulator with software from another UR+ partner, RoboDK, showing real life behavior of your robot. They currently offer this service for free until the end of June 2020 as part of the release of their Advanced Palletizing Application kit, that just launched on our new UR+ Application Kit platform.
Watch how Norwegian meat producer Nortura deployed a UR10 robot with a ceiling-mounted vision system to power a high-performance palletizing system in one-fifth of the space typically required.
Price of components:
A robotic palletizer consists of a few basic components. Robot, gripper, palletizing software, sensor(s) and a base frame. In its simplest form, excluding the robot, you will find quality component kits for about EUR 10,000–12,000 (USD 11,000–13,000).
The price range of robots vary depending on the need, but you are most likely to look at the list price of a UR10 CB3 series up to UR16e which are the UR cobots best suited for palletizing due to their reach and payload.
Calculating your true ROI is not just a matter of labor savings, a lot of other aspects should be figured into the deployment as well.
While prices for components can be easy to compare, engineering costs can be trickier to compare at first glance as this may require more insight into the process. The engineering cost can be broken into three main categories:
If you like, you can try the web-based Pallet Builder that is used to program a UR palletizing robot with Pally. If you manage to build your pallet, - congrats, you have also programmed the robot to palletize it!
Reorganizing the production floor.
Downtime during installation:
Number of shifts
Longevity of robot
Cost of operation
Alternative hiring cost
Alternative personnel cost
With a reach of 1300mm (51.2”) and a payload of 10kg (22lbs) the UR10 cobot is a popular choice in palletizing applications
As you see, there are many variables to take into account. If you are capable of doing the engineering work in house, the out of pocket cost of getting started can be as low as 10 - 12k in component investments + robot purchasing or leasing cost that most likely will be lower than using an operator for the job.
As a rule of thumb, a UR palletizing cobot offers a payback time of somewhere between 1-2 years based on the cost of the complete solution. This leaves many hours, days, months and years for a UR palletizing cobot to create value for your company. It doesn’t matter if you have a straightforward production line, or a highly complicated one. We’re sure that you’ll find a solution that fits your needs with an UR cobot and application kits from UR+.
We believe that collaborative robotic technology can be used to benefit all aspects of task-based businesses – no matter what their size.
We believe that the latest collaborative robot technology should be available to all businesses. The nominal investment cost is quickly recovered as our robotic arms have an average payback period of just six months.