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7 reasons for robotics in SMEs – do it with KUKA
Small and medium-sized enterprises face major challenges now and in the future – from a shortage of skilled workers to rising raw material prices and rapidly changing customer requirements. Find out how you can master these challenges and what advantages robots bring to a company like yours.
25 April 2023
Reading Time: 2 min.
1. Robots help you defy the shortage of skilled workers
In 2021 alone, there was a shortage of 87,000 skilled workers in the skilled trades in Germany – primarily in the fields of construction electrics, plumbing, heating and air conditioning technology as well as automotive technology. And there’s an upward trend. The use of robots in small and medium-sized enterprises can be a pioneering solution here. They can take on tasks for which skilled workers cannot be found and at the same time position your company to remain attractive in the future – for customers and employees alike.
2. Make your production fit for the future in an uncomplicated way
Automating production with a robot is easier than you think. Managers and employees do not need to be robotics professionals or programming experts for installation and commissioning. With application packages from KUKA and a broad portfolio of software and services, onboarding is accomplished within a short time.KUKA system partners also ensure seamless integration into your production. If questions or problems arise, our service is available 24/7.
3. A robot makes your processes flexible
The pressure to react quickly and flexibly to new customer requirements or developments in their own production poses major challenges for small and medium-sized companies. Robots can be quickly and easily adapted to changing requirements and therefore make your production more flexible. By being able to adapt quickly to new orders and different batch sizes, you offer additional value to your customers and secure your competitiveness in the long term.
4. With a robot you increase your company's attractiveness
With robots in your own ranks, your company remains attractive to customers. Skilled workers as well as trainees also value automation. 37 percent of employees worldwide express concern that their employers do not invest enough in innovative technologies. Focus on progress has a positive impact on your company's image. That, in turn, can also attract potential investors.
5. Automation reduces the workload of your employees
At 35.4 percent, musculoskeletal disorders are the main cause of incapacity to work in the skilled trades in Germany. This does not have to be the case! Robots take over physically heavy, monotonous tasks, relieving your employees. The result: less sick leave and lower costs. US scientists have calculated that, for example, the use of industrial robots results in 12 work-related injuries being prevented per 1,000 full-time employees. This helped US companies save 1.69 billion US dollars during the study period.
6. Robots provide support for every step of the process chain
The areas of application for robots are huge and can change very quickly if necessary. Whether for palletizing, loading and unloading machines, quality control or welding: Robotic colleagues can perfectly complement well-established human teams and master their tasks reliably and precisely. You don't have to worry about them working together with their human colleagues, because the safety precautions are well thought out and can be adapted to your needs.
7. Small risk, big opportunities: automation pays off
Don't worry about big costs. Automation pays off and it doesn't take long to achieve a return on investment. Check out our payback example:
Cost of a compact robotic cell for welding applications*: approx. 110,000 euros
Cost for one employee per shift: 35,000 to 45,000 euros/year
Automation runs in two shifts
Personnel costs for two-shift operation: 2 x 40,000 euros = 80,000 euros
Amortization of investment costs within 16.5 months (depending on consideration of residual value and average annual return)
* with a project-specific fixture and welding technology from a premium manufacturer, programmed, including onsite commissioning and training for the system. Individual costs such as maintenance and energy costs for the operation of the plant are not included here.
Welding is as much a part of sound technical training as learning to write the alphabet. Trainees at KUKA learn this craft as early as their first year of training. This now includes welding in the virtual world in a four-week advanced training course.