How Cobots Help Small Businesses Compete With Big Corporations?
It is a known fact that conglomerates have a competitive edge in the global marketplace. Huge corporations, especially those based in industrialized countries like the USA, can take benefit of:
- Economies of scale
- Ability to embrace the latest technology
- Access to the top niche of skilled labor
- Entrée to both international and local markets
These advantages make it near impossible for small and medium-sized businesses to compete with them. Yet, in the past few years, times have changed. These smaller companies facing many obstacles are transforming their weaknesses into strengths. For example, a small company is closer to the local market, which means they always have an ear to the ground. This allows them to react to altering market trends faster and with agility.
How Are Disadvantaged Companies Overcoming Barriers?
Technology is one reason smaller companies are working smarter and faster. It is with the tech they are able to go toe to toe with much more prominent players in the field. One such technology helping disadvantaged businesses overcome barriers is collaborative robots. Also called cobots, they are modern robots that can work alongside human personnel without the need for safety exclusion zones or safety measures. Collaborative robots in manufacturing are the best bet smaller players have because they are:
- Easy to integrate
Unlike traditional industrial robots that are costly and require major renovations before installation, cobots are small-business friendly. It gives them the potential to level the playing field between conglomerates and small and medium-sized companies. Moreover, collaborative robots help manufacturers based in developing countries or in locations where labor is not readily available. Another reason collaborative robots in manufacturing have an equalizing power is their ability to free human workers from dull work. Cobots liberate employees from:
- Repetitive tasks
- Dangerous duties
- Labor-intensive jobs
Therefore, giving them the freedom to work on functions that need more ingenuity and creativity.
A Few Examples Of Small Businesses Using Cobots
A widespread example of how cobots offer unique solutions to small businesses or companies with labor shortages is CATI. The Craft and Technik Industries are based in India and produce automotive components. CATI was riddled with a scarcity of skilled labor, which led to an increase in customer rejections due to faulty products.
CATI installed cobots to automate processes and remove the chance of human error. Since then, the company has seen a 15 to 20% rise in the production volume and almost zero customer rejections.
An example closer to home is a New York, USA based company that operates a printing farm. Called Voodoo Manufacturing, the business was looking for a way to compete with more influential opponents who could afford to charge less for their products. Unlike big companies that have off-shore facilities and thus lower overhead costs and labor expenses, Voodoo cost per unit was high.
They installed a cobot to lower their manufacturing expenses. The company says besides the distinct advantages, the collaborative robot was useful because:
- It was 5 times less expensive than conventional industrial robots.
- The integration of the cobot was swift.
- No additional investment was required in the form of safety measures like cages and curtains.
Combined, the merits of collaborative robots in manufacturing are legion. Moving beyond the borders of the USA, another example where cobots are helping a company mark its territory against massive corporations is Multi-Wing CZ. Based in the Czech Republic, the business produces ventilation fans. The problem they faced was how to meet the growing demand within their confined floor space. Their solution was to get rid of an ancient safety guard and install a collaborative robot. With one cobot, Multi-Wing CZ increased its capacity by 336 hours annually, and they reduced production costs by 20%!
Cobots: Smarter And Modest Investments For SMM
The global manufacturing arena is going a paradigm shift. Companies with small set-up or headquarters in remote locations or places where trained labor is scarce are now able to compete with multinationals. The reason is advancement in technologies, particularly collaborative robots. Experts have been saying it for half a decade that cobots are the answer to better manufacturing. Businesses are finally coming around to it and not just those with mammoth production but those with minuscule capacities too. In the coming time, cobots will be the go-to technology for a business not only in the USA but all over the world to increase wealth and overcome other challenges. Irrespective of the location, size, or niche, every company will soon realize that collaborative robots are the affordable answer to thickening bottom lines and competing with international counterparts. Want to find out more about how collaborative robots can help your manufacturing or any other production plant in the USA? Get in touch with Cobot Intelligence.