#ThoughtsOnRobots: EandM USA

EandM USA Automation Interview OnRobot

Justifying the investment is foremost on most people’s minds when they invest in collaborative automation. We asked robotics specialists Lillie Deas and Andrew Etherington from EandM to share their advice on how to get the most value out of collaborative automation. Here are their thoughts:

High-value collaborative automation is not without its barriers, according to Lillie Deas and Andrew Etherington, robotics specialists at EandM in the US:

“Some customers are deterred by both the traditional view of robotics being expensive and hard and by the hype around collaborative automation. There is a productive middle ground to be found between these extremes. That is where the high-value opportunities for collaborative automation lie,” the two experienced robotics specialists explain.


Better ROI in robots

“We’re seeing rapid growth and interest in integrating collaborative and lightweight robotics into existing workflows,” Lillie Deas and Andrew Etherington say.

They put this development down to robots becoming easier to use and less expensive, and to the fact that labor is getting harder to find for certain tasks.

Customers are becoming more comfortable working with robots themselves, and robots are easier to re-purpose for future needs.

All of this means better ROI in robots.

“We’re also noticing an increasing trend from our customers to build locally, while staying globally competitive by using a high level of automation, including robotics,” the two specialists explain.


Talk to the people

One thing that Lillie Deas and Andrew Etherington keep emphasizing is the need to engage employees in the automation project. This is crucial to the success of the project – and hence to the ROI.

“Talk to the employees first before you do anything. Make sure that they buy into the project, and that they are excited to move on to more engaging work,” urge Lillie and Andrew.

Engaging your employees in the automation process is not a one-off job. Lillie Deas and Andrew Etherington recommend that you keep coming back to the workers for further insights and feedback throughout the automation process:


  • Talk with the people working on the line: What do they think could be made easier or better?
  • Have a robotics specialist follow the workflow and suggest where the opportunities might exist and help you identify where the highest value to the business lies.
  • Design the solution.
  • Talk to the people. Get their feedback on the solution.


  • Commission the robot.
  • Install the robot.
  • Talk to the people again. Teach them how to operate the robot.


  • Measure the actual business value of the robot.


Case: Pick-place-inspect robot relieves workers of repetitive tasks

One of EandM’s customers was experiencing a significant amount of turnover of workers assigned to quality control of their plastic parts. The work was boring, and the process of hiring and training new operators was costly.

The customer worked with EandM to automate the task with a collaborative application.

The robot picks up the part from the finished assembly conveyor, then places it on a vision-based inspection station. Depending on the result, the part is then binned by the robot as “good” or “scrap”.

The robot is easy to use, setup is rapid. Operators have been given more engaging jobs, and the robot works collaboratively alongside the humans.

“Collaborative applications make it easier to engineer a safe solution, but safety still has to be considered. We recommend that you complete a risk assessment and acquire the resources to assist,” Lillie Deas and Andrew Etherington say.


Privacy Policy for processing and protecting personal data

This data protection policy applies to OnRobot.

The purpose of the policy is to ensure and document that OnRobot protects personal data in accordance with the rules for processing of personal data. The policy will also contribute to OnRobot providing information about its processing and use of registered personal data.

The policy will be reviewed each year.

Record of the processing of personal data

OnRobot processes personal data about:

  • Employees

  • Customers

  • Suppliers

  • Applicants

OnRobot has prepared a record of the processing of personal data. The record provides an overview of the processing for which OnRobot is responsible.

The personal data must be provided in order for OnRobot to enter into employment, customer and supplier contracts.

Purpose and lawfulness of the processing

Personal data are processed and archived in connection with:

  • HR management, including recruitment, hiring, dismissal and payment of salary

  • Master data for customers as well as orders and sales

  • Master data for suppliers as well as requisition forms and purchases

  • Contracts

Processing is legal by the authority specified in the appended record.

OnRobot does not use the personal data for purposes other than those listed. OnRobot does not collect more personal data than necessary to meet the purpose. 

Storage and erasure

OnRobot has introduced the following overall guidelines for storage and erasure of personal data:

  • Personal data are stored in physical folders.

  • Personal data are stored in IT systems and on server drives.

  • Personal data are not stored for longer than necessary to meet the purpose of the processing.

  • Personal data for employees are erased five years after employment has ended, and personal data about applicants are erased after six months.

Data security

Based on the appended risk assessment, OnRobot has implemented security measures to protect personal data:

  • Only employees with a work-related need to access the registered personal data have access to the data, either physically or via IT systems with rights management.

  • All computers are password protected and employees may not disclose their passwords to others.

  • Computers must have firewall and antivirus software installed, which must be updated regularly.

  • Personal data are erased securely in connection with phasing-out and repair of IT equipment.

  • USB flash drives, external hard disks, etc. containing personal data must be stored in a locked drawer or cabinet.

  • Physical folders are placed in a locked office or in locked cabinets.

  • Personal data in physical folders are erased by shredding.

  • All employees must be instructed in what to do with personal data and how to protect personal data.


Website and Cookie

  • The Personal Data Regulation allows you to treat personal data only legally for the purpose for which they have been collected. If you want to use data for purposes other than the original, you must always have the consent of the registrant.

  • Upon receipt of a business card from a customer you have his consent. If you write his information you need his signature on this paper to have a formal requirement for consent if you want to use his information. Then the customer allows OnRobot to use his data for purposes other than communication, upcoming promotions, product updates or further news including upcoming promotions, product updates and further news.

  • According to the Cookie Act, OnRobot must have the user’s consent to use this software on the user’s equipment. On The company’s intranet or similar closed group, the rules in the E-data protection directive do not apply.


Personal data about employees may be disclosed to public authorities such as the Danish Customs and Tax Administration and pension companies.


OnRobot only uses processors if they are able to provide the required guarantees that they will implement appropriate technical and organisational security measures to comply with personal data law. All processors must sign a processor agreement before processing commences.


OnRobot safeguards the rights of data subjects, including the right to access, withdrawal of consent, rectification and erasure and will inform the data subjects of OnRobot’s processing of personal data. Data subjects are also entitled to appeal to the Danish Data Protection Agency.

Personal data breach

In case of personal data breach, OnRobot will report the breach to the Danish Data Protection Agency as soon as possible and within 72 hours. The manager is responsible for this reporting taking place. The report will outline the breach, the groups of persons affected and the impact the breach may have on these persons and how OnRobot has remedied or intends to remedy the breach. If the breach entails a high risk for the persons about whom OnRobot processes personal data, OnRobot will also notify these persons. OnRobot s will document any personal data breach on an access-controlled drive.

Erasure of data

The customer should assess when personal data need to be erased by asking the question:

When is it no longer necessary to store the personal data?

OnRobot follows the practice of the Danish Data Protection Agency:

Applications Are erased after 6 months in connection with job interviews. Unsolicited applications are erased immediately.
Employee data Are erased 5 years after termination of employment.
CCTV surveillance Is erased after 30 days.
Telephone conversations Are erased immediately or after up to 3 months.
Accounting records Must be stored for 5 years from the end of the financial year.


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How to Grow your Business with Collaborative Applications
How to Grow your Business with Collaborative Applications
With the dawn of smarter, more adaptive tooling, robots can now function with greater speed, strength, safety and precision, accomplishing a wide range of tasks, while maximizing ROI. Learn more on how you can enable faster production at lower costs by downloading our free eBook.
How to Grow your Business with Collaborative Applications
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