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The pricing of a robotic project can be difficult to understand, especially when this is the first time you are planning to invest in such solutions. 

Here are some tricks to help you grasp how a robotic supplier sets up a technical and commercial offer. 

Key drivers: 
> You buy products and associated services: robots + software + deployment
> You buy according to your facility configuration 
> You buy a promise of performance

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1)    You buy a System not (just) a  Robot!

This is the main difference with the manual material handling industry. Customers are used to buying products (standard forklifts) and maintenance contracts. If you are about to evaluate the feasibility of implementing robots within your facility, you first need to understand that you will not only buy robots but also, the full configuration of your robotized operations.

The configuration of your future installation requires different AGV experts to:

> Manage your project, having a single interface for your teams and potentially your IT and software suppliers (WMS, ERP etc.)
> Set up the best layout for your future installation (simulations, robots path optimization, pick/drop zones, etc. )
> Deploy this pre-configured layout in your factory or warehouse
> Ensure the performance of your robotic installation

2)    What is included in your commercial offer?

Each supplier packages their offers differently but you should at least expect the following elements: 

> Robots price: the product itself and the options you need
> Energy price: the batteries and charging system
> Software price: robot supervision and interfaces with your IT system
> Project Management and commissioning price: deployment of the system

3)   What is included in the project management and commissioning price?

When you start a commercial discussion with a potential supplier, one of the first questions that you ask is: “how much does an installed robot cost?” 

In addition to the robots and energy price, an important part of the budget will be spent on project management and commissioning work. Pricing will depend on:

> The quantity and distance of flows you want to robotize
> The quantity and type  of pick/drop points   (racks, conveyors, dock lanes, etc.)
> The throughput (pallets per hour) you need to reach
> The quantity and type of robots we will provide to reach your throughput targets
> The total robot working area
> The software interfaces needed to connect your IT system to our robotic solution

It clearly appears that pricing has to be adjusted to each specific case and all above tricks will help you to inspect any supplier offers.

How do you generate savings ? Tricks to calculate your ROI.

Before investing in a robot fleet and starting your Industry 4.0 journey, you need to calculate the potential savings generated by a robotic solution. To help you make accurate calculations, we are sharing with you some feedbacks we got directly from our technology end users, who generated much more savings than expected.

Key insights:
> Robots are 30% more available than humans
> Robots eliminate/reduce the cost of damaged goods
> Robots can increase production capacity up to 15%
> Robots allow you to produce more with the same number of employees

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1) Availability comparison

When comparing the two approaches, manual and robotized, it is important to consider the availability of both options.
A human usually works 70% of the time he’s paid for when you consider lunch time, break time, vacations time and other lost time due to a normal working environment.

The AGV industry standards advocate 98% of availability for robots, meaning that an autonomous forklift must work during 23h30 out of 24h in a 3 shifts environment, without any technological disturbance due to the system itself.
The availability of a worker is thus 20% to 30% lower than a robot.

2) Quality increase and damage decrease

This is one of the main sources of savings for some customers, especially in packaging or food industries. Implementing self-driving forklift can dramatically improve the way your goods and products are transported.

Robots are much more smoother and safer than humans when moving, turning, picking or dropping loads, resulting in a decrease of accidents (involving materials, racks, trucks etc.) and pallet drops.

The percentage of quality improvement really depends on your industry type and your applications. But before calculating your potential return on investment, make sure to estimate the cost of potential losses for your company and include them into your ROI calculation!

3) Lean manufacturing

Working in an automated environment allows gain of time and process optimization. One of the main advantages of using robots in production operations is the time you save thanks to your connected robotic solution.

Your ERP (or your production management software) can now directly send orders to the robots to feed or remove raw materials or finished goods from the production line, avoiding any time loss that can occur with manual operations. Your connected robotic solution anticipates the needs and kills production stops due to lack of human coordination.

This process improvement can result in an increase of production of up to 15% in some industries.

4) Growing productivity with the same number of employees

This is one of the main challenges of the Industry 4.0: producing more for less, facing worldwide competition and cost pressure. Investing in automated processes and machines such as AGV, AMR or autonomous lift trucks is part of the answer.

Customers investing in our technology do not fire people replaced by robots. It is a common fear but not a business truth. In real life, our customers actually train drivers to operate on other manufacturing or logistic processes, meaning they can produce more with the same number of employees.

Some of our customers estimate they were able to increase their production by 15% by dedicating their employees to new tasks after investing in robotics.

You have now all the hidden and real robotic benefits to consider when calculating your robotic return on investment.


Our smart and free simulator, MyCashBox, helps you to find your automation opportunities and get a quick overview of your potential savings.