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3 key insights about the robotics industry in 2018

At our Pick-it booth at Automatica, the biggest automation trade fair in the world, we conducted a market survey to gain more insights in how production facilities are using robots to automate their production and what their perception of robot vision is. The survey was completed by 117 robotic users, plant owners and system integrators with different backgrounds working at small and large companies. These are the three main takeaways.

1. How flexible is your automation?

At the biggest robotic trade fair in the world, automation is mostly associated with using industrial robots or cobots. However, a robot is in fact quite rigid without additional sensors. Robots can only execute what they were programmed to do. They cannot reason, adapt or cope with complex and changing environments like humans can.

It is therefore not a coincidence that adding flexibility is by far the most important reason why someone would start using a 3D camera. Other reasons are cutting costs, less need for expensive and space-taking hardware, saving time and adding reliability. See the infographic below to get an overview of the top 5 reasons to start using 3D vision.

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A robotic 3D camera system, like Pick-it, adds flexibility in three different ways. It makes your automation robust to normal variations in a production process, it allows for small changeover times when switching between products and greatly reduces the complexity of robot programs.

2. Programming a robot still takes time

How much time does it typically take to fully automate a repetitive manual task? The truth is that with today’s solutions, this process can still take a lot of time (and money).

The survey results indicate that the time to install and program a robot to automate a repetitive, manual task takes on average 2 weeks if it was executed by internal technicians and engineers of the production facility. In case the installation is outsourced to a system integrator, it takes around 1.5 weeks. This means that hiring an experienced system integrator can save you about 25% of time. See the infographic below to get an overview of the time it takes to install and program a robot today and learn how a 3D robot vision product which focuses on ease of use, like Pick-it, can have an impact on this in the future.

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With Pick-it, our ambition is to drastically reduce setup and installation times by providing a plug and play system which is easy to learn, deploy and integrate with any type of robot. With our product, you can reduce setup and installation times to up to one day and allow changeover times of only a couple of minutes.

Each time a new Pick-it customer reached our target to reduce setup and installation times to one day, we have another testimonial to our mission, automation made easy :

"If I wanted to, fresh from a sealed box, I could get the system unpacked, connected, powered up, and picking simple objects such as boxes or circles in just 2 hours (if we ignore that I read slow). I think it is very well designed for being a new product and very robust."

Austin Shupe, ONExia

3. Three out of four production facilities are ready for industry 4.0

In the conducted survey, 75% of the participants indicated to have an internet connection installed in the area where their robot is located. This data is very interesting since having access to a network connection is an important requirement of industry 4.0.

In an industry 4.0 scenario, all systems are connected and can communicate with each other or with the outside world. This scenario opens the door to indispensable product features for reliable production processes like remote support and upgrades or 24/7 monitoring of a robot installation.

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To us here at Pick-it these results were music to our ears. Our main focus is to develop smart product features to increase reliability of your production and all of our products allow remote upgrades and 24/7 monitoring.

Pick-it is a perfect fit

These three market insights illustrate how an off-the-shelve, 3D vision system, like Pick-it, helps to solve crucial problems in today’s industry.

  1. Pick-it allows for the much craved flexibility by adding vision systems to your robots, streamlining your production processes in three different ways: by being robust to variations in production, by reducing changeover times and making robot programs simpler.
  2. It drastically reduces the setup time to get a robot vision system up-and-running.
  3. Finally, the Pick-it product offers connectivity to the cloud for updates and monitoring to make your automation future-proof.

Recognize these market insights in your own production facility? Want to find out what Pick-it can do for you? Get in touch with us here.

Picture of Marieke Copejans

Meet Marieke Copejans

Marketing professional and roboticist

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