- July 06, 2020
COVID-19 has caused industry interest in robotics to spike once again. More companies see robots as an opportunity to keep production going, while fewer employees are able to go to work because of the lockdown.
As a result, #HowToRobot has now launched a "Remote Automation Assessment" service to speed up automation efforts despite the current restrictions. The service connects manufacturers virtually with robot experts–thereby avoiding physical contact.
“We’re making robot experts more accessible to the industry–and reducing the costs of receiving expert advice substantially," said #HowToRobot CEO Søren Peters. "This way even smaller manufacturers are able to benefit. Many companies are looking for new tasks to automate but are unsure of which robot projects hold the greatest potential. Now, instead of receiving a physical site visit from a robot advisor, the visit can be conducted virtually by a video call."
Shorter payback period on carefully chosen robot projects
When visiting a production site under normal circumstances, the robot advisor walks through the entire facility carefully analyzing each process. The Remote Automation Assessment allows manufacturers to instead livestream a tour of the factory by video, while the advisor follows along remotely and asks questions.
The virtual tour makes it possible for the advisor to recommend new robot projects for the manufacturer–while also recommending which ones to discard. “Some robot projects may seem easy at first but may end up being very complicated and costly because the technology needed has not matured enough," said Mikkel Viager, robot engineer and one of the independent advisors on the platform. "If you spend some time and effort picking the right projects from the start, the value and ROI of the solution tend to be a lot higher. A remote expert visit is both faster and more cost-effective for the manufacturer because we as advisors do not spend the extra time on traveling to the site physically."
Virtual robot assessments available for manufacturers globally
The Remote Automation Assessment is currently being rolled out to manufacturers across the globe with a particular focus on the European industry of more than two million manufacturing companies.
“We’re at this moment engaging with industry associations and their likes across Europe to raise the competitiveness of their manufacturing members through smart automation efforts," said Peters. "These organizations want to provide their members with the right means to ensure their robot and automation endeavors succeed. Even though the hourly rate of a robot engineer is relatively high, the virtual visit reduces the time spent–and thereby the total cost–drastically. This allows manufacturers from lower-income countries to benefit as well."