Is Insights a good software for you? There’s one simple way to find out…
If you’ve read about our new Insights software, you might be wondering whether it could work for your business. After all, you need to make sure it’s going to be worth your time, right? We’ve all learned the hard way that it doesn’t pay to just start using a software without proper research. Practically every good engineer and businessperson has — at least once in their career — lost several days or weeks learning a new software which they end up not using. We don’t want that to happen to you this time.
The thing is, Insights is not like many of the process software packages you may have tried before. There is very little risk to trying it out.
The best way to tell if Insights will work for your process is to see it for yourself. If you are using a collaborative robot, the potential benefits of Insights will far outweigh the small time investment it will take to get started.
So, the simple answer to the question “Will Insights work with my process?” is “Yes, very probably.”
However, you deserve a more in-depth answer than that. In the rest of this article, I’ll explain the alternatives to Insights and show why Insights is practically risk-free.
Fusion OEM uses Insights to get the most out of their robot-operated CNC Machines
What Are the Alternatives?
Before you pick any software, it’s always a good idea to research the alternatives.
However, with Insights we are in a unique situation — at time of writing, there is currently nothing else exactly like it. Insights is unique because it is a cobot-specific, real-time monitoring software. It allows you to continuously monitor the performance of your collaborative robots using the most important metrics for effective cobot operation. It is also plug-and-play so you can get it up and running very quickly.
Having said that, there are some solutions which are slightly similar to Insights. Below are four of the main contenders. However, as you will see, there are more differences between them than there are similarities.
1. Industrial robot IoT platforms
The most similar products to Insights are probably the cloud-based software platforms provided by some industrial robot manufacturers, like KUKA Connect and ABB Ability. These provide network-connected monitoring and notifications for the company’s robots. They include a lot of functionality, allowing users to monitor many machines within a process, including non-robotic machines like motors. However, their high level of detail also means that they can be unwieldy — potentially a case of “too much information.”
Insights, on the other hand, is Lean.
These platforms also tend to focus on different metrics than Insights does. For example, they may track metrics like “robot gearbox temperature” which is relevant for long-term maintenance of the robot in a high-volume environment, but not very important for short-term productivity improvement.
Insights focuses on metrics which help you to make your robots more productive.
2. IoT Remote Control Add-Ons
These are software and/or hardware add-ons which allow robots to be remotely controlled via the Internet of Things. For example, the ARCS accessory on UR+ incorporates a hardware gateway which allows users to remotely access the robot’s teach pendant over the internet. Although such solutions could facilitate remote monitoring of the robot, they require you to perform all of the integration yourself, including logging and interpreting all the data. This could mean a significant time investment. They also require an investment in the corresponding IoT infrastructure.
Insights, by contrast, is a plug-and-play solution with no need for extra hardware or infrastructure. It simply involves loading a small software plug-in into your robot.
Insights Remote Access dashboard at Fusion OEM
3. Manufacturing Execution System (MES)
The traditional method for logging processes in a manufacturing environment is via a MES. These are enterprise-level software packages which monitor your entire production process, from raw materials to finished products. They do not tend to integrate easily with collaborative robots, which usually means that someone has to enter the data manually. If you don’t use one already they require a major upheaval to your existing working method. Also, they are only applicable to manufacturing environments.
Insights can be easily applied to one robot or to many robots. It doesn’t require any changes to your overall business processes and can be used for cobot applications in any industry.
4. Manual Logging
Finally, manual logging involves writing down business metrics by hand and entering them into, say, a spreadsheet. While it is an alternative to Insights, it is time consuming, inaccurate and generally just a pain in the diodes. Not a great long-term solution.
As you can hopefully see, these other solutions require a significant investment to even try them out. With Insights, you can test the software for yourself immediately for free by going to the demo at insights.robotiq.com. You can then get it working in your own process within an hour or so.
Is My Business Too Small for Insights?
It’s clear that Insights offers unique benefits for your robotic process. But, you might still wonder if your process is big enough to use a monitoring software.
The answer is simple: You are never too small for Insights.
People often wonder this because MES and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems are sometimes perceived as being too much overhead for a small company, due to the huge time investment and culture change required to get them working. This is not the case with Insights.
Insights can help to improve your production even if you are just one person working with one robot. For example, if you run a 3D printing company in your garage and use a robot for machine tending, you can use Insights to work out how you can boost your production.
So…Are We Too Big for Insights?
No. Insights is also scalable. You can just as easily use it for a business running hundreds of robots. In this situation you might want to use it in conjunction with a larger MES, for example. You could also delegate individual robots to individual members of your team, which is very easy to do — each team member would set up notifications for only the robots that they are responsible for.
Try Out Insights for Free
The best way to test if Insights will work for your process is to try it out yourself. You can currently try it for 3 months free by going to the sign-up page.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of cobot-specific monitoring software, make sure to check out our eBook Top 5 KPIs: How to Measure and Improve the Performance of Collaborative Robots which explains, in detail, how metrics can help to boost your cobot performance.