What is a robotic systems integrator and what is their purpose for manufacturing? Within this article, we explore often-asked questions and provide explanations about how integrators work and why they’re important in today’s fast-paced industrial landscape. Buckle in and get ready to learn all about these high-tech professionals who are continually improving the face of modern manufacturing.
Introduction to Robotic Systems Integrators
In a nutshell, a robotic systems integrator, or a robotic integrator, is a company that specializes in the development and deployment of specialized robotic automation solutions. These companies are responsible for designing, installing, and programming robotic systems that help businesses automate their production process. An integrator’s focus is providing a tailored solution that meets customer requirements. From initial concept through to installation and support, this is meant to be a collaborative and transparent process throughout the project’s lifecycle.
Robotic integrators typically offer a comprehensive suite of services and work closely with customers to understand their specific needs and requirements before suggesting a concept and developing a tailored solution. Being experts in the field, these companies have the capability to choose the best products for each application, from the most trusted and reliable suppliers and robotic manufactures.
In addition, an integrator can provide ongoing support, like preventative maintenance and troubleshooting to assist a manufacturer in maintaining peak performance operations. Ultimately, their goal is to work with a customer to create a robust robotic solutions package and reliable machine that produces the best quality product for its lifetime.
Common Robotic Integration Projects
Before diving into the types of robotic integrations, we must cover the concept of Flexible Manufacturing Systems (FMSs). This term relates to a range of automated systems, from large car assembly lines to microscopic wire inserts, and refers to machine flexibility to adapt to the production of different products. This can include different sizes, part characteristic changes, process requirement updates, and more. With the future in mind, FMSs are extremely important to the longevity of a manufacturing process.
Robotics are a key component in FMSs due to their easy tooling changeover. Oftentimes, robots can be programmed to automatically perform tooling changeover without manual intervention. This results in decreased downtime and making the entire process more efficient.
Now, for several common project types:
- Welding and Machining
- Part Picking
- Material Handling
While these are the main projects that most commonly use robotic integration, there are many other processes that can benefit from robotic use.
Results of Working with a Robotic Integrator
Robotic systems integrators often have several areas of expertise and a knowledgeable team who work together to tackle customer challenges. Some highlighted results of working with a robotic integrator are:
- Increased Efficiency and Productivity: In some cases, robots can work faster and more accurately than operators, which leads to increased efficiency and productivity.
- Cost Savings: Automation can help reduce labor costs, as well as other production costs such as materials and energy.
- Improved Quality: Robots can maintain consistent quality standards throughout the production process by improving repeatability and reliability and reducing the opportunity for operator error.
- Flexibility: When programmed correctly, robotic systems can be quickly adapted to changing production needs or requirements.
- Safety: Robots can help create a safer work environment by performing tasks that are hazardous or difficult for operators to do safely.
About Steven Douglas Corp. (SDC)
For the past 25 years, SDC has achieved tiered status with a variety of robotic suppliers. We maintain a FANUC ASI Level III status and are an Epson Gold-Level AutomateElite System Integrator, among other top suppliers. Our sophisticated controls engineering team has the ability to not only look at each application to find the best robotic use, but also the best brand. We take into consideration the industry, application, environment, system requirements and manufacturer standard brands. Using this information, we are able to offer a complete custom solution.
Likewise, our team is committed to continual learning. We are always exploring new technologies and suppliers to stay at the forefront of an ever-changing manufacturing landscape. The SDC team consists of expert machine design mechanical engineers, controls engineers and programmers, skilled machine builders and electricians, and a full manufacturing staff. Our project management team ensures each project moves from concept to completion, on time and on budget.
Different from other robotic integrators, SDC has the in-house capability to design and build turn-key automated machines that include robotic integration. In our experience, robots are a necessary component of many automated machines, but not every machine. Using our consultative approach to the concept and design phase of the project we work with our customers to determine the best options based on their timeline, requirements and budget.
In summary, robotic systems integrators provide solutions with the right combination of robots and manufacturing technology needed to automate industrial processes. Each integrator has expertise in specific industries but oftentimes can accommodate a range of industries and applications. Their knowledge base contributes to the best possible results when it comes to developing, building, and implementing a robotic system. By finding the right integrator, businesses are able to take advantage of cutting-edge technology to optimize their facility’s performance and increase their competitive advantage.