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The Essentials of Integrating a Robot into your Process

The reasons for automating manual processes are well known at this point. For tasks that are the 4D’s – dull, dirty, dangerous or difficult to fill – a robot or other automation solution makes sense from a financial, quality and efficiency standpoint. You could almost say that robots are commonplace these days! However, choosing the right robot and integrating it into your process is anything but easy.

There are many different types of robots on the market – industrial, collaborative, SCARA, mobile and more – each suited for different tasks. In addition, there are many different brands of robots out there, each with their own specialties, their own software and their own quirks. It’s important to work with a company which looks at your automation project based on the task needed, rather than shoe-horning a particular robot into it.

And don’t forget, automation is much more than a robot. Sometimes a custom precision motion control solution will work better for your application than a robot or will have a better ROI.

But choosing the right motion component is only the first step.

Unless you have a large team of automation engineers on staff (and sometimes when you do), integrating your new automation project into your existing process requires specialist knowledge. From the hardware to the software to the safety systems and peripherals, each component must be tied together and communicating seamlessly to achieve the desired result.

One note: the robot is not enough! We’ve seen time and time again expensive cobots sitting gathering dust in the corner. And, even though in theory you can program a cobot yourself, to achieve the complex motion which mimics what humans can do, you’ll need an expert programmer.

That’s where Cross’s Automation Team comes in. We look at your entire application, from simply picking up the part to moving it to a precise location, completing the human task. We look at the footprint available and the safety requirements for the application. We also discuss what local software and what software integration are necessary for your process to run seamlessly. We have extensive experience in robotic, electromechanical motion control and pneumatics, so we’ll specify exactly the right solution for your particular task.

Finally, once we pull all the hardware and software requirements together, we review from a financial perspective to make sure there’s a decent ROI. Our ROI calculations are included with our quote so you can use it for your internal capital justification.

Cross has worked with hundreds of different companies in many different industries, all with unique applications. No two are ever the same so we work with you until the automation solution is working exactly as intended. We are committed to your long-term success, because that’s how we’re successful. We won’t leave you hanging with a system that doesn’t do what you need. We will make sure it’s right.

If you have a task which you’re considering automating, give our motion control experts a call. We’ll help you design, specify, build, install and integrate, making your existing process more repeatable and more efficient, leading to a solid ROI.

 

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In the meantime, enjoy these fun facts…

Did you know… Cross Company is an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan). Our ESOP started in 1979 and as of 2006, we are 100% employee-owned! Learn more about our ESOP and how that benefits both team members and our customers.
Did you know... the precision measurement group at Cross was founded in 1939 by our current CEO's grandfather, Jim King. That's a whole lot of calibration!
Did you know... A fingerprint weighs about 50 micrograms. We know, we weighed it! The residue left from a finger can actually make a difference in weight results which is why we wear gloves when we calibrate weights. For reference, a sheet of paper is about 4.5 grams, that’s 4.5 million micrograms.
Did you know… Cross Company has grown significantly since our start in 1954. Over the years we've acquired 26 companies! Today, our five groups have expertise in everything from industrial automation to precision measurement, and industry knowledge going all the way back to 1939.