Picture This Scenario...
Imagine if you could hire a skilled labourer for only 50p an hour, who’d be able to work 24/7 without taking a break or needing assistance. If this sounds appealing to you, you should consider investing in a robot palletiser.
When investing in a robot palletiser, its cost on paper isn’t the only important figure you’ll deal with. It's also important that it will give you a positive Return On Investment (ROI). This should be calculated at a period of two years or longer to determine if it will offer the long term benefits needed to help your business survive in the present and grow in the future. Here’s what costs and benefits you’ll need to consider.
Consider How Many Shifts The Palletiser Will Operate Daily?
Most palletisers can operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week — though their speed might change depending on the output of the bagging machines and conveyors that are feeding it.
You’ll need to account for any planned downtime needed or days it might not operate at all (like major public holidays). Your palletiser supplier can tell you what kind of planned downtime you can expect during operation.
Consider Your current Labour Costs & Benefits
Labour costs will include what you pay the workers on your packaging line over a certain period. You’ll also need to account for hidden costs and benefits like insurance, worker’s compensation, paid time off and time lost to routine breaks. You’ll need to compare this to your new setup. How many employees will need to operate or supervise the palletiser and how many hours of training will they need? Remember that you'll benefit by making your workplace safer, reducing or eliminating workplace injuries.
Consider The Palletiser’s Maintenance & Parts Replacement Costs
Maintenance and replacement costs grow in volume and frequency as the robot palletiser ages. In its first few years of operation it will only need minor maintenance. As time goes by you'll need to replace worn parts.
You can expect to pay for preventative maintenance to keep its battery functional and parts lubricated. In a decade’s time you’ll need to pay at least half of what it initially cost to refurbish it for further operation.
Consider Any Hidden System Costs
Not all the benefits of switching over to a robot palletiser will be obvious. Your planning and scheduling can become more efficient due to automation and more flexible if the palletiser is programmable. You can also look forward to reduced product and packaging waste and consistently high quality outputs. You might find that in the future your palletiser can perform added functions.
The Bottom Line
Consider The Palletiser’s Installation & Operation Costs
To get your robot palletiser up and running you might need to dispose of your previous machine and prepare the site. Once the replacement is commissioned and installed you'll need to integrate and program it.
You'll also need to add custom fixtures, safety guards or extra tools and conveyors. You'll enjoy saving floor space, which might allow you to downgrade to a more affordable workspace. Palletising systems often merge many packaging areas and functions into one cell. This could save you time if it performs several tasks at once in the cell.
Multiple formulas exist to help you calculate the exact ROI your machine will offer you in financial figures. This will depend on many factors, such as how much work it will be performing and if you have any throughput goals. However to begin with you need to work out the amount of shifts per day, week and year the palletiser will perform. If you're still unsure what you need to consider or what a robot palletiser can offer you, Webster Griffin can help you. Contact us today to get paired with a system that will give you the ROI you require.
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