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Formic makes robotics available to hire ‘by the hour’

Formic, a startup robotics-as-a-service company, has introduced Formic Flex, which it describes as “a unique service offering that recognizes the shifting needs and changing requirements that manufacturers face”.

Formic Flex enables manufacturers to subscribe to robotic systems “by the hour” and when their needs shift, swap those systems for other systems at no cost.

Allowing manufacturers to boost their productivity without being tied to specific equipment, Formic Flex applies to selected and certified robotic tenders across various applications, such as machine tending, welding, palletizing, depalletizing, and case packing.

Reflecting Formic’s commitment to minimizing the barriers to automation for US manufacturers, Formic Flex protects businesses that don’t have long-term visibility into their operations from tying up their capital in equipment they can no longer use.

As their operational needs change, Formic customers can simply change their robotic system, without paying additional fees.

Saman Farid, Formic CEO and founder, says: “Manufacturers have hesitated to adopt automation because it implies losing the flexibility of their operation.

“We understand the challenges businesses face, and their need to adapt and grow in response to the environment around them. Our Robotics-as-a-Service (RaaS) solution removes the risks traditionally associated with automating to deliver scalable productivity and sustainable growth with zero capital investment.

“As our customers’ operations morph and grow, our new Formic Flex offering allows the robotic solutions already in place to morph and grow with them.”

Formic Flex adds to the company’s innovative RaaS solution, which delivers full-functioning, customized robotic systems from leading robotic vendors to customers who pay by the hour for usage.

Formic owns, programs, installs, and maintains the robots at its own cost and operates a unique model in which customers do not pay until the system is deployed and fully operational.

Additionally, once systems are activated, Formic covers all the engineering and costs for repair and maintenance and does not charge hourly fees during downtime.

75 percent of Formic’s customers deploy their first robots through Formic. With all of the complexity and risk of automating removed, these customers typically pay 42 percent lower operating expenses and boast a $25,000 annual savings per system, on average.

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