Are You Overlooking the Automation Potential of End-of-Line Operations?

End-of-line (EOL )operations involve repetitive, physically demanding tasks that must be performed uniformly. Robotics as a Service (RaaS) can quickly and affordably automate EOL processes.

May 3rd, 2023 4 min read

When it comes to robotic automation, manufacturers often focus on processes like hot stamping, pad printing, and machine tending — all of which can raise efficiency and reduce costs.

But what about the end of the line? End-of-line (EOL) operations like packaging, box-building, and palletizing tend to get overlooked in the automation discussion. But manufacturers can gain an edge by considering the entire production workflow when it comes to robotic automation.

An engineer trains a Universal Robots cobot on a palletizing task.

Opportunity at the end of the line

For many manufacturers, end-of-line processes like box-building and palletizing have always been done manually. Even if the workers assigned could make better use of their time on higher-value tasks, the end of the line is an essential operation in a functioning factory that cannot be left un- or understaffed.

But the challenges of this work are too big to ignore. The tasks are physically taxing, requiring heavy lifting and repetitive motion that increase injury risk. The strains and cumulative injuries that EOL workers are most likely to experience are the sixth and seventh most expensive worker’s compensation claims.

Consistency is another issue. Even for athletic workers, it can be difficult to maintain a fast pace while ensuring accurate placement of boxes on pallets, which is essential for safe, even weight distribution. Because the job is intense and repetitive, it can be hard to retain workers — a situation that is worsening in an ongoing labor shortage.

For all these reasons, manufacturers should take another look at end-of-line automation with a new approach that comes in at a low, predictable operating cost, and offers speedy deployment and greater flexibility.

Why RaaS is the Answer to End-of-Line Automation

 Robotic automation for repetitive EOL tasks delivers three key benefits:

  • Lower risk of injury. End-of-line operations have high injury rates. The number one cause of workplace injuries is overexertion from handling objects, most notoriously heavy boxes. If you incorporate RaaS for EOL work, you’re instantly reducing the risk — and the cost — of worker injuries.

  • Higher productivity. A single robot can work three shifts in a row every day. It won't call in sick or take vacation. Depending on your needs, a RaaS solution can handle the work of multiple workers across multiple shifts. Which means you can switch those workers to more valuable tasks or increase EOL throughput without expanding your team.

  • Better consistency & safety. Robots excel at performing repetitive tasks accurately over long periods of time. This includes packing goods into cartons and placing boxes on pallets. With a properly designed robotic solution, manufacturers can expect boxes to be filled and stacked correctly every time, greatly reducing shipping errors and the risk of imbalances that can crush packages, cause injuries and cause palletized loads to fall over during transport.

How RaaS is rewriting the rules of automation

Robotics as a Service is a simple but revolutionary idea that is changing the dynamics of automation. RaaS bundles all of the costs associated with robotic automation — including system design, hardware, software, and support — into a fixed monthly rate. Because the RaaS provider takes on all upfront equipment and programming costs, the ROI from automation benefits is virtually immediate.

In other words, RaaS removes the risks, hassles, and heavy capital costs of traditional automation. If the robot has an issue, the RaaS provider fixes it. If the operations team has a question about the robotic solution, the RaaS provider answers it. There is no third-party integrator to deal with.

Get started with RaaS fast

Not all RaaS providers are the same, so look for one that delivers automated solutions quickly and offers 24/7 support and maintenance coverage. To learn more about how a RaaS solution from Rapid Robotics could reduce injury risk and improve EOL productivity in a matter of weeks, contact Rapid Robotics now for a free automation consultation.


Rapid Robotics Content Team

We're a group of diverse humans who tell anyone who'll listen how Rapid Robotics can make it easy, fast and affordable for manufacturers to start automating. And while we believe in the power of automation and AI, we're real peeps who write every word ourselves!

This website uses cookies
to improve your experience.