Welcome to our FAQ page

We get lots of questions around the design and build of an automation system. If we haven’t answered your question, get in touch with us.

Build is really divided into four major time frames: planning, mechanical design, build and commissioning. It works best when automation integrators work closely with the customer upfront, getting feedback during the application engineering and concepting. The benefit: it helps in the design phase. Like any complex project, the work done up front makes a great foundation for the automation system. Supply chain has become very important of late, so getting the order into our purchasing department and working early in the cycle helps immensely.

There are so many robots available today, this is hard to answer. Robots are a solid choice for manufacturers as they are ultimately flexible, re-deployable and can last for 15-20 years without much downtime. A small robot can start as low as $25,000 and as much as $150,000 depending on the brand, reach, size, communications and controls packages required. Remember that the base cost of the robot is just one part of the equation.

The most important consideration is to collaborate early with your robot integrator. Secondly, make sure that you are both working to reduce any risk in the automation system such as a machine vision application. This risk reduction ultimately reduces the engineering time, price and delivery time.

Industrial robots have been around for the better part of 40 years. Industrial robots are fast, complex and need industrial strength electrical interlocks and mechanical guarding like Lexan doors, light curtains, and zone detectors. Industrial robots brands include ABB, FANUC, KUKA, Staubli, and Epson. Collaborative robots or Cobots, have been around only 10 years are built to work along with and safely with people. They characteristically move slower, don’t need as much guarding, are easier to program for the owner and work on 120V power. Dedicated collaborative robot brands include Universal Robots, Techman Robots and Kinova.

Our typical warranty is one year on manufactured parts and one year on third-party supplied components. An example might be a robot where the manufacturer offers a one year warranty period.

This really depends on the complexity of the system, plant infrastructure and the install team. For most of our automation installations we usually only need a few days. For more complex installations we may need as much as a week. For more demanding jobs, where we need an extended time we will work closely with plant management to optimize the work and minimize the plant disruption.

The cost of automation is principally broken down into labor and purchased 3rd party materials such as controls, conveyors and robotics. At Ethos Automation we are vertically integrated and we try to control most of the value added to your automation system so that we can control costs. The more automation, the more robots for example, the higher the cost of the system. We are happy to give you a ballpark budgetary cost estimate based on your specific needs, and the amount of automation you require.

Usually our clients specify the robot that they want to be included in an automation system. This makes a lot of sense as they likely already have knowledge and training inhouse. They may have already invested in spare parts and maintenance packages. Often too, our customers may supply the robots to us. That said, we can work with Fanuc, ABB, KUKA, Staubli brands and are open to work with other brands as well.

Industry 4.0 is also called The Fourth Industrial Revolution and 4IR. It realizes the increasing interconnectivity of industrial sensors, robots and smart automation systems. One of the big benefits of 4.0 is the goal of eliminating or greatly reducing unplanned downtime. This type of disruption in manufacturing comes at a high cost to quality and delivery. Industry 5.0 recognizes the growing need to help people work with automation to improve productivity. Industry 5.0 will increase the use of collaborative technologies, improved sensors and safety devices.

Absolutely we can help. We come from the Tier 1 automotive industry and are experts in engineering automated robot welding operations. Click here for more information.

This depends on the application and your factory setting, but in general it is good practice to have 7-10% of the original capital equipment purchase price available for spare parts.