“The machine will never be like a man”

“Man thinks, decides, reacts to situations”

“The man always wins”

Very true, but there is a problem!

When you work with the philosophy of things, it will be the least of your interests.

If you want to increase your margins, the machine must win: it has to do a better cycle time, it has to use tools better, in one word, it has to earn for you.

Not all machines win against men, mine always win… but when the pieces are heavy or large it is even easier to win.

But lets proceed by degrees.

If your operator works small sized pieces, the cycle time he can do is very similar to the robot.

Anyway, the machine wins constantly. Maybe the operator can do a better cycle time for two pieces one after the other….. but at the end of the day the machine has produced many more pieces.

Years ago I sold a deburring machine to a small craftsman.  He claimed to be faster than the robot. Every morning he sat near the robot and did it manually….

Ready, GO!

The challenge began every single day.

He won the first hour of production … then the machine started to clock up pieces and his advantage got smaller minute after minute.

In the evening, the robot had produced 30% more.

All things considered, the machine was not so convenient.

But there is a problem!

He could not do everything himself, or place the best workers to do this job.

His business grew and he could no longer challenge the robot every morning, he had to manage the company.

So he employed a worker, he trained him in the best way he could… and every morning…

Ready, GO!

The new operator immediately began to falter.

In the evening, the machine had produced double as much!

How is this possible?

So he employed another worker…. His results did not change, rather he had two employers who besides being slower than the machine also made rejects! Double the cost!

Then he gave up. He installed a series of machines that produced  double or even three times more than a normal worker.

But let’s analyse the situation step by step, when does the machine win hands down?

The machine wins hands down when:

  • The piece is more than 0.5 kg
  • The piece is bigger than 300x400x100 mm
  • The cycle time is very fast (less than 20 sec.)
  • There are more than 2 operations to finish
  • The request for precision is very high

The piece is more than 0.5 kg

Every man can carry a measured weight. If the piece is too heavy the worker gets tired and soon his productivity decreases.

The machine can be built to carry large weights.

Usually for a deburring machine we use a robot with a 45 kg capacity, but it is possible to make machines with robots carrying 150 kg or 200 or 400 kg. The machine has no weight limit.

To solve the problem the operator puts the piece on the bench and starts using portable tools.

But there is a problem!

These tools have less power, with less abrasive capacity. If they are abrasive tools they quickly get worn out.

If the cycle time can do 60 seconds per piece, when you take the tools your cycle time becomes at least 100 seconds.

The machine easily manipulates the workpiece with greater power and works more precisely and faster.

The piece is bigger than 300x400x100 mm

The operator can manipulate pieces with limited size.

If the piece is too big, then during handling. The workpiece canter is too far from the operator’s back. He gets tired and soon he will stay home on sick leave. 

He starts becoming a Voltaren dependent.

Maybe you have found an operator who can do it, but there’s a problem!

On average,  operators cannot carry such large pieces!

When your great, big operator gets hurt, you’re desperate!

While the machine does not have any such problem. The robot is designed to carry large-sized pieces. Depending on its size, the robot can carry pieces up to 2 meters and this without any problem and with incredible speed.

The cycle time is very fast (less than 20 sec.)

If the cycle time is fast, the operator gets stressed.

The operator finds himself under pressure. He must work fast, he must concentrate  and must continue to produce.

Maybe he can do it for a few hours, but there is a problem!

After a few minutes he starts to give up as he is worn out from this pressure to produce.

He collapses and with him, your margins also collapse.

While the machine goes on, it works 20 seconds (or less) on each piece, hammering time after time. It never stops. From morning to evening, from this Monday to next Monday, your margin is always constant.

The operations to complete are more than 2

When an operator has to process more than 2 operations what does he do?

He takes the piece from the container, works it, then he lays it in another container.

After working a batch, then he again takes the piece from the container, and again puts it down in a box.

He spends his time picking and dropping the pieces into the container.

Have you calculated how much this costs you?

You pay the employee to move pieces from one container to another.

While the machine works differently.

The robot takes the piece, works on a first unit, then on a second, then on a third, then on a fourth.

It works as many as 10 different operations in the same cycle.

Only with this, the machine distances itself from the man by 10 lengths!

The request of precision is very high

When the worker has to do precise work, his speed is excruciatingly slow.

Of course, he can do precise work. Maybe you also built him in some counterfeits  into the piece to check it.

But there is a problem!

He works the piece carefully (so slowly), then he looks it, then he looks it again and again.

If the normal productivity is 60 pieces per hour, when you tell him to be careful his productivity become 30 pieces per hour.

The machine never stops. The machine never looks, it produces and nothing else.

It is always precise regardless of what you need.

It produces one piece after another with the same productivity and precision. A precision of which your worker can only dream.

To sum up:

The machine always wins against the man, but if the piece is big or heavy, winning is very easy: a machine replaces many operations!

If you believe that your worker is better than my machine, don’t call me.

If you want to make a step towards the future, you want to increase your margins, and increase your client’s customer satisfaction, then you can’t wait any longer.

We have to organize an appointment as soon as possible. Every second that passes costs you too much!

WRITE ME NOW: piercarlo@castingautomation.com

Piercarlo Bonomi
The Main Expert in Robotic Cutting and Deburring Machines


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