Robotic arm

For many people, the word “robot” tends to bring to mind the movie “Terminator,” with accompanying visions of machines taking over the world. But some companies are pushing past those ideas rooted in science fiction with the realistic concept of a collaborative class of robots — flexible, automated, easily reprogrammed, lightweight machines that make robot technology available to any size business.

“Traditionally, small to midsized businesses couldn’t afford to put conventional robots in,” says Ed Mullen, national sales manager with Universal Robots. “This is opening the door for smaller businesses to realistically put multiple robots into their production lines.”

Not your father’s clunky robot
The business motivation, explains Mullen, comes down to cost and productivity. The cost of labor is often a bottleneck for production, particularly when a demanding physical task or a high-speed, cadence-driven task is in play. Machine tool-tending tasks, for instance, are extremely labor intensive, repetitive, and even dangerous. Humans are prone to error and fatigue with these kinds of tasks, which can cause manufacturing delays.

Robotic armRobotics is a solution that has been looked at for a long time and, in large industrial settings, has proven successful. However, small and midsize businesses have been unable to justify the use of robotics for several reasons:

  • Robots of the past tended to be large and clunky and required large amounts of valuable plant floor space.
  • They have traditionally been used for just one task in one place.
  • The costs involved in training, equipment, and maintenance have turned off many to the concept.
  • The high degree of regulation and added costs and concerns of maintaining a safe environment for employees have pushed away smaller businesses.

Today, however, businesses can measure their return on a robotic investment in months instead of years. Mullen says Universal Robots manufactures a new class of robots that provide a quicker ROI because they are so different from the clunkers of the past.

New robots are available at a very low cost of entry, allow continuous operation 24/7, offer high precision, and feature extremely intuitive programming. They are also much safer than older types of robotics: They use limited force and stop immediately when humans come in contact.

“The market for robots has been characterized by heavy, expensive, and unwieldy robots made by engineers for engineers. But it’s not always necessary to move extremely heavy loads. An increasing number of assembly and lifting tasks require small, nimble robot arms. A small, low-noise robot is the simple and ideal solution for all types of industrial enterprises.”

— Ed Mullen, Universal Robots

Robotic armsIndustrial automation, customized for your process
The effects on productivity are high, says Mullen. “This is the future of manufacturing,” he adds. “It’s a clear solution that is moving and growing at a rapid pace.”

Businesses considering robotic arms should have a good understanding of what they want the machine to achieve. Mullen says Universal Robots are flexible to handle many applications and Richard Greene Company helps companies determine how and where the robot can benefit their business.

“They are the experts in industrial automation,” he says, “and they have the complementary product lines for our robots. We look to them to provide guidance on where the robot should go, what it should do, and how it can flexibly handle a business’s needs.”

Are you looking for a practical way to boost your productivity? Contact the experts at Richard Greene Company to see how collaborative robotics can create positive change on your production floor. Call us at 800-525-4039 to schedule an on-site demo, email us at, or visit our website.

St. Louis, MO

Richard Greene
10742 Kahlmeyer Drive
St Louis, MO 63132
Phone: (314) 423-8989
Fax: (314) 423-1399

Kansas City, KS

Richard Greene
8200 Marshall Drive
Lenexa, KS 66214
Phone: (913) 492-6886
Fax: (913) 894-9769

Des Moines, IA

Ramco Innovations
1207 Maple St
PO Box 65310
West Des Moines IA, 50265
Phone: (515) 225-6933
Toll Free: (800) 328-6236
Or: (800) 280-6933
Fax: (515) 225-0063

Lincoln, NE

Ramco Innovations
5900 N. 58th Street
Suite 2
Lincoln, NE 68507
Phone: (402) 467-4041
Toll Free: (888) 304-7629
Fax: (402) 467-4072

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