Five Must-Have Service Features Manufacturers Need from a RaaS Provider

Service and support are key parts of the robotics as a service model. Here are the five ways a truly great RaaS partner will ensure that your robot integration is successful and productive.

May 2nd, 2023 6 min read

Even for manufacturers with an automation team on staff, programming and deploying a robot can be an exceptionally complex challenge. And getting the robot set up is just the first part of the automation process. Once robots are working in a factory, there’s the question of maintenance, repair, and the challenges inherent to reprogramming a robot should their needs change.

When selecting an automation provider, it’s critical for manufacturers to keep an eye out for a true partner. A great automation provider acts as a permanent extension of the manufacturer's staff, providing advice and expertise during the planning process, designing a solution that takes the true needs of the manufacturer into account, and providing comprehensive service and maintenance that ensures the long term success of the deployment.

Robotics as a Service providers are at the forefront of a transformation of the American manufacturing floor. By accelerating deployment times from a few months to a few weeks, and by changing the cost equation from hundreds of thousands in CapEx to an affordable and predictable operating cost, RaaS makes automation accessible to any manufacturer. But the true revolution is in service: RaaS providers only make money if their automation solutions are successful and productive over the long term.

A good RaaS provider is an extension of your team starting with the first sales call, and continuing every day after that, for years of operation. They have the expertise and resources to quickly and efficiently implement effective robots, but also will work with you to continue identifying further opportunities to optimize your operations. Most importantly, the right provider will keep your robots updated and working, and handle all service and repair, so that you can focus on your business instead of on the robots.

When you’re looking for a  RaaS provider, be on the lookout for these five essential service qualities of a premier provider.

A group of 7 workers wearing hard hats and safety vests, touring a plant floor and discussing opportunities to improve production.

5 Indispensable Traits of Top-Tier RaaS Providers

1. Everything is included

A top-tier RaaS provider handles everything, from consulting with your team on automation opportunities, to building and testing the application, to parts, service, repair, and replacement if something goes wrong. A true partner covers software upgrades and parts as part of their standard service. If something happens to break, they repair or replace it within hours. They let you concentrate on what you do best while they manage the robots - no additional fees, no surprises.

2. Thorough automation assessment

Many systems integrators and even some RaaS providers are focused only on selling a robot. As a result, they tend to jump at the first opportunity without taking the time to truly understand their customer's business or consider the bigger operational picture. This approach can result in wasted resources and failed implementations.

As a manufacturing company, your goals are unique to your factory floor. Some typical automation goals include:

  • Reducing cycle time

  • Increasing throughput

  • Improving product quality consistency

  • Freeing up human resources for more challenging tasks

  • Enhancing plant safety

RaaS providers who take service seriously will take the time to understand your business and your specific challenges and goals. They'll conduct a thorough assessment that involves a factory walk-through complete with photographs, videos, and in-depth discussions with operators and team members. A hands-on approach can offer a tailored solution that better accomplishes your objectives, even if it’s not what you originally had in mind.

3. Expedited deployment

The best RaaS providers understand that time is of the essence and strive to deliver automation solutions quickly. A solution that takes months and months to implement can result in lost profits and missed goals. 

Once the best opportunities for automation have been identified, a top-tier provider will design a solution that meets or exceeds your specific requirements and ensure the deployment will deliver the expected results. After conducting factory acceptance testing, a provider should handle the entire installation process, minimizing disruptions to daily operations and providing hands-on training for operators. And all of this should happen in a matter of days or weeks, not months.

The 5 steps that allow Rapid to deploy robots in just a few weeks, including Task Identification, Automation Design, Prototyping & Testing, On-Site Deployment, and Support.

4. Collaborative partnership

The right RaaS provider goes beyond being just another vendor. They become an extension of your team, working with you to understand your unique business needs and helping you achieve your goals. 

They don't just provide robots and walk away; they work collaboratively with your team to ensure that their solutions integrate seamlessly with existing processes. Over time, they will continue to work with your team to find new opportunities for automation and process optimization, offering collaborative support that will turn them into your engineering team’s secret weapon.

5. Ongoing support

This is the secret sauce that makes a RaaS provider a true partner. Your provider should offer more than just robots and installation. They should provide ongoing support including everything from scheduled maintenance to software upgrades to ensure that your robots keep running at optimal levels. A great provider commits to total coverage of the system, handling all repairs, service, and even quickly replacing the robot for free if something goes seriously wrong.

An ideal RaaS provider not only provides support but also monitors your robots remotely, and has a team of experts who can anticipate potential problems before they arise. This level of support can be the difference between successfully operating for years and failed automation implementation.

“I’ve seen a lot of robotics vendors make big promises they can’t deliver. Rapid is…unlike anything we’ve seen from other robotics vendors. We’re saving money and winning business that we probably wouldn’t have if it hadn’t been for Rapid.”
Tammy Barras

Tammy Barras

President, Westec Plastics Corporation

Rapid Takes Service Seriously

Rapid Robotics takes the “service” part of Robotics as a Service very seriously. Every Rapid Machine Operator includes lifetime 24/7 support that covers everything, along with a commitment to repair or replace a broken robot within 1 shift.  Schedule a free 30-minute consultation to learn how Rapid Robotics can help optimize your manufacturing operations.

Rochel Maday headshot

Rochel Maday, Rapid Robotics Content Team

Rochel is a tech-savvy freelance writer with a passion for breaking down complex topics into easy-to-understand language. She enjoys creating engaging content that amplifies the voice of the tech industry and helps readers understand its ever-evolving landscape. When she’s not writing, Rochel enjoys watching documentaries (the later at night, the better) and going on adventures with her husband and their four children.

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