Robotics & Automation News

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Formic supplies 58-year-old family-run factory Compact Industries with its first robotic system

Formic, a supplier of automation technology on a pay-as-you-go basis, has supplied 58-year-old family-run factory Compact Industries with its first robotic system.

Located in St Charles, Illinois, Compact faced challenges of a shrinking labor pool, high worker turnover, and supply and wage inflation; struggled to meet the increasing demands of the Fortune 500 companies it serves.

Formic’s robots-as-a-service model activated a cobot within hours of delivery, cut costs on hiring and re-training temporary workers, and enhanced safety.

Rich Moldovan, Compact’s engineering manager, says: “What attracted me to Formic was the low risk.

“With big decisions like this, you’re putting your reputation on the line, but I felt very confident with Formic. The whole process was so seamless, and this quality of service didn’t happen when we tried to automate on our own.

“We have some associates who are placing boxes on pallets for an entire 10-hour shift and we don’t want them straining or getting injured. Our employees are a key part of our success. And what’s great about robots is they don’t quit or get injured.”

Another company, GreenSeed, has a contract packaging operation in Batavia, Illinois, which serves large and mid-sized consumer packaged goods companies that want to maximize growth and bring premium foods to market safely and efficiently with less waste.

Formic’s pay-by-the-hour robot model delivered immediate cost savings, boosted employee morale, and enabled GreenSeed to instantly scale its automation efforts to meet supply chain demands without relying on slow capital budgeting cycles.

David Gray, CEO of GreenSeed, says: “With Formic’s automation systems, we have reduced the need for hourly labor, adding automation as a fixed cost instead of a variable cost.

“At the same time, we still rely on our workers. We’re excited to promote internal staff into management positions and aim to hire fifteen new team members in the next quarter.”

Hector Leon, GreenSeed’s director of operations, says: “What was attractive about Formic was their concept. Being able to pay by the hour and try the technology out in small steps. There was really no downside.

“The technology is going to help us be more competitive and serve as an educational platform for our people. We’re not looking to let anyone go. We’re looking to move them into better roles.”

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