As has happened to software and some physical products, the popularity of collaborative robots is gradually leading to the development of another supply line for cobots. Cobots as a service.
Technology and software providers have mastered this business. Rather than sell their product wholly to the consumer, they provide access to it for a recurring fee.
This is a model that cobot manufacturers are experimenting with and it could lead to numerous benefits for the manufacturers and users.
The benefits of this model are:
Manufacturing entities that need cobots but are not ready to buy one can easily acquire one through this model. They can pay a small fee for the use of the cobot for the time that they will be needing it.
With this model, many manufacturers will easily get the cobots for a while, use them and then return them to the provider.
When they have the ability or are willing to acquire collaborative commercial robots, then, they will make the decision backed by concrete evidence of the benefits it could deliver for their organization.
Increased revenue for manufacturers
Adopting the cobots as a service model serves cobot manufacturers as an extra revenue stream. In addition to selling the cobots directly to manufacturers, they can also lease them out for a regular pay as you go revenue.
Similar to modern software services, users pay only for what they use. Cobot manufacturers can have an hourly, monthly or annual charge for their customers who prefer to lease their product rather than buy it.
Cost savings for users
Rather than spend a substantial amount of money on the cobot, a manufacturing entity can easily lease a cobot by the hour or monthly. Cobots can work without breaks and with minimal human supervision. All that is required is simple programming and the cobot could produce as many products as you need for your operation.
The ability to use cobots at a lower fee is beneficial to small organizations that cannot afford to buy a cobot for their day-to-day operations.
The value created by paying for the use of the cobot is easily seen in the product and the amount of money used is easily and quickly recouped.
In addition, the factory does not have to invest in other infrastructure that is required when acquiring a cobot.
With IoT and cloud technology, collaborative robots will easily integrate with other technology and hardware equipment over the internet to make work easier in factories.
Cover up for labor shortages
With fewer and fewer people available or willing to work in the labor-intensive sectors of the economy, leasing robots is a cost-effective method of production.
With the number of people in your workforce, adding a single cobot a few hours or days every month leads to an exponential increase in production capacity and efficiency.
Easy testing and need identification
Some manufacturing operations do not know that they need cobots while others are not at a level where they need them.
By providing robots as a service, manufacturers are able to test out whether they need or do not need cobots for their operations. In addition, factory employees are able to interact with the cobots and have a firsthand experience of the benefits that cobots can deliver when incorporated into their work.
This helps prevent any disputes or opposition that may arise when manufacturers adopt collaborative robots as their automation method.
Use in different industries
Industries that have not interacted with robots for long can also use this model to determine how good a fit they would be for their industry.
A new hospitality or restaurant business, can lease the hospitality-designed cobots to experiment whether it is a good fit for the organization. After the experiment, the users can then decide on how good the cobot is for their industry. They can also help manufacturers develop better collaborative robots for their industry.