Tips To Calculate The ROI for Your First Welding Cobot

by Rob Goldiez, on Jul 22, 2021 8:30:00 AM

What is the true value of adding a welding collaborative robot to your workflow? And if you do invest in one, when will you get your investment back? To answer these two important questions, most people calculate the Return of Investments (ROI).

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To get started, let’s define what ROI is. ROI is a metric used to calculate the benefits you will receive in relation to your investment. It will tell you if your investment ( in this case, a Cobot Welder) is worth it. If it’s not, then you may have to reconsider your automation project.

There are many ways used to determine ROI and most businesses use the payback method. The method works by dividing the cost of the investment by the salaries of your welders. But to have a more realistic ROI estimate, a better way is to consider the intangibles - the benefits that your company will get in the long run. Those are often not black on white but so important to consider.

Calculating the Financial Aspect of Your Welding Cobot

Once you’ve chosen your collaborative robot project, the next step is to crunch some numbers to determine the ROI. A good rule of thumb is to aim for a realistic two-year ROI. In your calculation, you want to include the following factors.

The Total Cost Of the Welding Cobot System

Take into account the total system cost of the robot welding system. For the collaborative robot cell to be complete, you need more than just the robot. The cobot itself is usually only a third of the cost of the entire system.

The common setup includes the welding jig and fixtures. Jigs and fixtures are needed to put the parts together. After this, the cobot welding tool can perform its job. The jigs are made to localize the parts so that the robot welds at the same place every time.

You may also have to consider the cost of engineering, programming, and installation. Yet, some collaborative robots like the Cobot Welder from Hirebotics are easy to use and don’t require programming knowledge. You can then have your actual welders program and set up those welding cobots which will save you extra costs.

 

To get a reasonable estimate for the total cost of an automated welding robot, you can triple the cost of the selected welding robot.

Working Shifts

You want to take into account how often and for how long the robot will work. When you calculate the robot working shifts, multiply the number of hours per shift by the number of shifts in a day. Then calculate how many days in a week and how many weeks in a year the cobot will run.

One interesting element to consider is that with a fully functioning robot cell, you’ll now be able to produce weld parts lights-out! Whether it's for a couple of hours after the working days or for a full night shift of production, the productivity gains will have a great impact on your ROI!

Labor Cost Savings

The first variable that is usually considered when calculating the ROI is the labor cost saving. You’ll see later on that there is much more than this. Yet, this cost-saving remains an important part of the ROI. To get that number, you need to consider the annual labor cost for a worker that the welding cobot will supplement. This number should include the salary, insurance, and any other benefits.

Maintenance & Team

Collaborative robots have minimum maintenance necessary. However, working with that technology may require you to develop your automation team. This team can be assigned to do programming, jig designs, maintenance, and repairs for your cobots. These extra costs (salaries & maintenance costs) can be factored in the calculation of your ROI.

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Calculate the Return on Investment

By using those previous variables, you’ll be able to calculate the payback period, the labor & productivity savings.

Payback period = Total Costs / Total Savings per year

It looks complicated, but don’t worry. There’s no need to calculate it manually unless you want to. There are a lot of ROI calculators online that will do the job for you. The one from Automate.org is one that we recommend.

The Intangibles

Intangibles are benefits that you get from automation but don’t have a hard monetary value. However, those benefits can have a great impact on your ROI. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Production Stability

A collaborative robot delivers consistent quality with each weld. This kind of precision maximizes your raw materials, saving you costs. Cobots don’t tire and can be easily programmed to shift from one task to another on the factory floor. So you always have a ready-to-weld system for your production needs.

Employee Safety

Welders can suffer from work-related problems. This can range from minor lung irritation down to life-threatening lung cancer. Automating welding processes with collaborative robots can help decrease your welders’ exposure to toxic fumes. This change results in better health for your workers. And, in turn, lower social, medical, and insurance expenses to your company.

Improved Efficiency

Cobots frees your experienced welders from doing monotonous welding tasks. They can then go on to do more significant and more critical welding tasks like setting up new jobs. This translates to better efficiency and better value for your business with the same amount of workers.

More Return Clients and Businesses

No matter who you ask, having a cobot on your factory floor looks very high-tech and impressive, especially to your clients. But they will be even more pleased with faster delivery times and the work quality. For example, the Cobot Welder App offers real-time weld times. The app gives you a precise number to calculate an accurate lead time to better quote your clients. Remember that satisfied customers come back to bring in more business.

The Best Tip for Calculating ROI for Cobots

When you look at your ROI, you should consider all the clear costs and savings we discussed above. But do not forget to include all the intangibles. Together, they will give you a very clear picture of your cobot's ROI. 

Still need help to figure out your cobot welder return on investment?  Automation experts at Hirebotics can give you a hand.

Check out those three welders as they try the Cobot Welder for the first time.
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Topics:Robotic WeldingAutomation

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