Low-Cost Automation Solutions to Keep Workers Safe and Your Business’s Financials in Check

Photo: "Forktruck Driver" by jaymarable, licensed under CC BY 2.0

If the COVID-19 pandemic has affected operations at your industrial company, you’re not alone. A survey done by the National Association of Manufacturers earlier this year found that more than 53% of respondents anticipated a change in their operations in the coming months, including evaluating work schedules.

To address the issue, PwC, the second-largest assurance, tax and advisory services network in the world, recommends considering automation solutions to reduce the number of workers inside your warehouse.

If you’re new to industrial automation, read these blog posts about the types of industrial robots and benefits of automation for small and medium-sized businesses. Then, read on to learn about specific igus® solutions that can save you money, increase production, and keep your employees safe.

drylin® Gantry Robots

drylin® gantry robots cost up to 40% less than traditional gantries. They’re designed with drylin® linear actuators that feature highly engineered, self-lubricating sliding plastic liners instead of recirculating ball bearings. That innovation helps keep the system lightweight, maintenance-free and corrosion resistant. Additionally, no ball bearings means smoother and quieter operation.

igus® offers drylin® ZLW single-axis linear actuators as well as customized drylin® gantry solutions based on customer-specific application and installation parameters. Plus, you can choose between different stroke lengths and accessories, such as couplings and motor flanges.

Typical applications include pick and place, sorting, labelling, measurement, inspection automation, and repetitive material handling.

drylin® Delta Robots

Our drylin® delta robots (available in 360mm and 660mm sizes) are designed with the same linear actuators and sliding plastic liners as our gantries. They start under $6,000 -- compared to the $20,000+ price point of our competitors -- and do not require any maintenance.

No external lubricants are required and switching out the liners is an easy process. These liners, as well as the other igus® plastic components that are designed into our delta robots, make the system lightweight, quieter than metal, and much more cost-effective.

You can choose between our proprietary robot control software or a more modular software offered by our partner that’s easier to integrate and change over time. Accessories, such as stepper motors, inductive sensors and motor flanges, are also available.

Delta robots are ideal for belt transfer stations, sorting systems, small parts handling, and fast positioning machines.

robolink® Robotic Arms and Components

robolink® DP is a 4 or 5-axis robotic arm featuring self-lubricating, maintenance-free plastic joints and can be designed with or without our integrated control system. Other features include an optimized bearing support for each axis to reduce backlash, a payload up to 30N, cycle times from six seconds, and a reach up to 790mm.

We offer robolink® DP in a small or large size as well as motor and drive encoders upon request. We can also customize a robotic arm using these components to meet your specific application requirements.

If you're looking for even lower cost solutions that do not require as high speed and/or precision, consider robolink® DCI or DC, our "Legacy Series" robotic arms. They feature the same self-lubricating plastic joints as robolink® DP and can be purchased as a complete robot or customized using our robolink® designer tool.

Typical applications and industries for robolink® DP include material handling, assembly, pick and place, welding, painting, drilling, and auto manufacturing.

What’s to Come

Of course these robots may not be the ultimate solution to your operational problems, but they’re something to consider as the number of positive COVID-19 cases continues to rise in the US. Plus, many industries have already embraced automation, making it crucial for you to eventually give your business a competitive and technical advantage over the competition.

To learn more about low-cost automation solutions from igus®, visit our webpage. Or, contact our Low Cost Automation Specialist to order your drylin® gantry, delta or robotic arm today. We also offer maintenance-free automation solutions specifically for material handling -- learn more about them here.