Automating “The Final Mile” In Manufacturing

Increased demand from consumers is leading to an urgent push for robotic efficiency to meet consumer need.

Manufacturers in the food, beverage, paper, plastics and building materials industries struggle to keep up with rising demand for products as the available workforce shrinks. Finding workers for decent paying jobs in a plant or even in clean manufacturing environments is more challenging each week. High demand means no slowdown. Strategic plans center on how to optimize production of needed goods with available resources. Moving skilled workers to higher value production jobs is helpful, but automation may be the key to post-production optimization.

Many of the repetitive, back-breaking, injury-causing jobs happen in what’s frequently called the “Final Mile”.  It’s the completely unsatisfying sorting, packaging, packing, moving, palletizing, and loading operations that often damage goods, cause injuries, loss of work and raise workers comp rates. Additionally, these positions often have the highest turnover rate. The obvious answer is automation.

That “final mile” is the place where robotic automation, autonomous mobile robots and robotic forklifts offer an efficient, safe path towards higher productivity. Consider that today’s robots can easily package goods as they come off the production line, seal those packages and place the finished cartons on pallets. A collaborative robot can even affix labels to the cartons for instant identification down the line.

These capabilities are being maximized for several manufacturers by an Ohio-based automation integrator. RōBEX and their team of robotic engineering experts have spent decades improving the efficiency of packaging productions. As Certified Integrators for FANUC® industrial and collaborative robots, MIR® and AutoGuide™ autonomous mobile robots and the advanced vision systems of Plus One Robotics, RōBEX fully optimize the “final mile” in facilities of the aforementioned industries.

At the same time, capital is an ongoing economic concern for most manufacturers. This led to the creation of RōBEX FLEXX™, a unique Technology Licensing Program offering manufacturers the benefits of custom-designed fully automated systems without major capital investment. “As an innovative, engineering-based company, we’ve developed a number of proprietary-designed systems that dramatically improve productivity” shared RōBEX President Craig Francisco. 

Francisco continued “In brief, FLEXX™ allows RōBEX to engineer, deliver and integrate robotic automation solutions customized to your specific processes without the concern of capital investment. It offers manufacturers a tremendous value and best of all, is not considered a capital lease. RōBEX owns and maintains the equipment while customers pay a monthly technology licensing fee based on the installed system–a creative solution to a challenging problem. This allows manufacturers of all shapes & sizes to improve their process via automation”.

To find out more about the RōBEX FLEXX™ program, contact their team here.


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