Robotics used to be the future of business, but the future is now. It seems that almost everyone is installing robotics to ramp up and streamline production. While probably most common in manufacturing, robotics is also prevalent in goods handling, shipping, and food processing. With new applications occurring at an exponential rate, their widespread adoption has even led to a used robotic market.
Despite decreasing prices, robots of any variety still represent a significant investment. For general use, the robotic arm itself can cost anywhere from $50,000 to $80,000. Once all of the peripheral equipment is added, the investment climbs to $100,000 to $200,000. High-tech robotics start in the $200,000 to $400,000 range.
However, the real “value” of robots to a business lies in their productivity. Tasks which were once performed by people are turned over to a machine which, in theory, does not make mistakes, and which is tireless and capable of performing tedious tasks around the clock. In this sense they are far more valuable than their purchase price.
If a robot is taken out of service due to a fire, the loss can be substantial. First, there is the price tag for the robot and its surroundings. Robots commonly work in enclosed cells with ancillary equipment that can also be affected by a fire.
But the largest expense is likely from the loss in productivity. Even if a replacement was immediately available (unlikely), the time to get it retooled, programmed, and productive is substantial. The sustained loss of a single robot can cripple a production line from weeks to months.
Robots operate using electric motors and/or hydraulics. Given their non-stop, repetitive movements, they are at risk of fire. Electrical shorts, overheated motors, and faults in the hydraulic system are all potential sources of ignition.
Given their tremendous value to overall productivity, protecting robotic installations from fire is an absolute necessity, financial and otherwise. Their small, enclosed, unmanned environments are ideal for a Stat-X® automatic fire suppression system. The Stat-X total flooding system quickly suppresses the fire—protecting the robotics, its enclosure, as well as protecting lives and other property on the manufacturing floor.
The compact units are easily installed in locations where they will not interfere with the operation of the robotics while providing complete coverage of the space. The Stat-X electrical system can be connected to a fire detection system for activation, or the thermally activated units themselves are specified to activate at a pre-set temperature.
The rapid response of the Stat-X system acts to quickly suppress robotic enclosure fires while they are still manageable, thereby reducing damage and minimizing downtime. Discharge of a Stat-X unit does not damage equipment and requires minimal cleanup.