The RoBEX Flexx technology licensing program, which addresses new lease accounting requirements, brings automated systems to the factory floor for a flat monthly fee.
The skills shortage has manufacturers turning to automation. But buying the equipment and technology that will fill the void of workers on production or packaging lines presents yet another problem. These systems are expensive. So expensive, in fact, that manufacturers—especially those with multiple plants—have to prioritize projects and sometimes put off purchases indefinitely.
Of course, in the past, savvy CFOs have skirted the issue by leasing rather than buying equipment creating an OpEx versus a CapEx expense. But another obstacle has appeared in the form of ASC 842, which is the new lease accounting standard published by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). In short, ASC 842 considers equipment leasing long-term debt that needs to be put on the company balance sheet.
Understanding the need to get creative with how automation is delivered, RoBex, an engineering-based integrator of automated systems, ripped a page from the software industry, offering its equipment as a structured technology licensing agreement that only requires a monthly fee. Introduced in May, it’s called RoBex Flexx.
“We spent time with our CPA firm, several attorneys, and end users to come up with an agreement that is not considered a lease,” said Craig Francisco, president of Robex, during the company’s Automation Solution podcast. “This technology agreement drives it, and the things in there are unique to RoBex, as there’s a patent pending on the process.”
Originally posted on automationworld.com on September 16, 2021. Written by Stephanie Neil.