We’ve all heard about Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Big-Data-as-a-Service (BDaaS), but have we wrapped our heads around Robotics-as-a-Service?
This article will briefly overview the what, why, when, and, how of RaaS in automation.
Just like SaaS, RaaS is a business model which allows on-demand subscription-based contracts where you pay as you go. In other words, you lease robotic devices to help your company operate without having to purchase many types of equipment with big upfront investment.
RaaS, like SaaS, also leverage cloud computing, making it possible to integrate existing devices and/or system within an organisation. Today, with over an estimated 20,000 warehouses in the US, only 20% use some level of automation be it conveyors, robotics, automated storage retrieval systems “ASRS”, automated guided vehicles “AGVs”, or autonomous mobile robots “AMRs”. However, ABI Research predicts that by 2026 there will be 1.3 million installations of RaaS generating $34 billion in revenue.
With RaaS, although, the company pays a recurring fee and doesn’t actually own the actual robotic unit, or technology to operate it, there can be a specific timeframe and leasing T&C set out in a contract between the robotics provider and the company to prevent any sudden robotics withdrawal issues.
Often times you will see RaaS and SaaS offered together, since operating the robotics devices may require a developed CRM or SaaS for its maximum potential. This will support big data collection, analysis, and measurement to optimise and streamline processes.
RaaS capability is commonly used in intralogistics/warehouses, distribution centers, stores, manufacturing plants, farming and agriculture, cleaning, and many other automated industries.
According to the Association for Advancing Automation, RaaS first emerged in 2013 but is gaining popularity in the industrial sectors as companies recognise the benefits of robots working alongside humans.
When a company uses RaaS, flexibility, scalability, and lower cost of entry are assured. This is a promising solution for small and medium-sized businesses where purchasing equipment is less efficient and releases the company from the cost-prohibitive initial investment.
Developing a robotic device is expensive, and purchasing a ready-to-use set or package of the system to operate a robotic device also requires plenty amount of time, effort, and investment. This includes the purchase, setup, operation, all the way to maintenance.
When using RaaS, implementation can be much easier and less committed.
After big data is collected, analysed, and measured, RaaS will allow better changes of technology and devices if required and deemed more beneficial or worthy for the system.
Unlike usual, old-fashioned plants where devices and equipment are purchased, and often hinder progress and quick growth to return the investment of the machinery, even if later down the road, the company realises that it’s not the best solution.
In this case, the RaaS provider would be the responsible party for maintaining the operation and performance quality of the robot and associated personnel (if any or knowledge transfer).
When a company needs to change or switch out products, the process would be much easier than throwing or keeping the machine in hidden storage.
RaaS can be considered a very low-risk investment today as it allows you to “rent” the robotics devices for a short period of time with the assurance that someone or a specific party is well-versed and highly knowledged and aware of the process of operating and utilising the machinery to the best of its ability.
If you’re a small or medium-sized company looking to expand your business with one or more variations of robotic machinery or devices, RaaS may be the perfect solution. Whereas large-scale companies would purchase the machine or equipment for better use of investment return.
Robotic machines can take over mundane and repetitive tasks from the workforce, giving more decision-making and thinking space for humans to focus on more high-level activities.
Here’s when you need to consider using RaaS:
- When the company is paying too many human resources with an incompatible return on investment.
- Time-consuming irrelevant tasks are causing delays to the production system and performance quality.
- There is a basic automated system in the company, but not enough automated processes to streamline the entire system.
- Minimum budget with no ability to hire many more staffs, but having too much low-level workload for the current employee/workforce.
- No specialist or engineer understands new robotic process automation that may be extremely valuable for the company.
RPA (Robotic Process Automation) is the technology all manufacturing and industrial company wants to use today to automate their business processes that are repetitive, but structured. RPA should always communicate with existing CRM, digital systems, network management tools, and other systems to capture data, retrieve information, process production, and many more.
If you’re looking to implement an RPA system, reach out to a specialist that can help analyse the existing state of your company’s process and cloud to see the best way to automate with the best industrial solution.
Ti2 Pty Ltd offers a wide range of quality industrial automotive, automation, and information products and services. Using genuine open standards and technologies for industrial solutions we are able to reduce the overall cost of ownership.
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- Complete Turn-key Solutions and Specialised Integration
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Article inspired from ABI, Robotics Tomorrow, Formant, Ti2, and Forbes.