How much does a SCARA robot cost? SCARA robot price in 2024

March 21, 2024
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How much does a SCARA robot cost?

SCARA robot prices can vary quite a bit depending on the specifications and features. 

But, in general, you can expect to pay between $25,000 to $100,000 for a single SCARA robot.

Keep in mind, though, that the specific capabilities and options you choose directly impact the final cost. 

Things like load capacity, reach, speed and precision, number of axes, and controller type are all factors that determine price. 

For example, a four-axis SCARA robot with a 10kg payload and 1000mm reach may cost around $50,000, while a six-axis model with a 20kg payload, 2000mm reach, and 0.05mm repeatability could be $75,000 or more.

You'll also need to budget for initial setup, like programming, testing, and installation, which typically adds another 10 to 30 percent to the total system cost. 

That’s to say nothing of ongoing expenses such as maintenance, repairs, and software updates which are usually around 5 to 10 percent of the purchase price — every year. 

But, finally, bear in mind that SCARA robots, as with most forms of automation, tend to pay for themselves in the first 1-3 years of use. 

What to look for in a SCARA robot

When shopping for a SCARA robot, you want to make a list of the robot's basic features and make sure what you’re buying is a great fit for your industrial process. 

Take a look: 

  • First, think about the work envelope, or the area where the robot can operate. A larger work envelope means more flexibility in the parts or tasks the robot can handle. However, a bigger envelope often comes with a bigger price tag.
  • You'll also want to give thought to the bot’s payload, which refers to how much weight it can lift and move at once. For most SCARA robots, payloads range from 3 to 50 kilograms. A higher payload usually means higher cost, so keep in mind how much weight you need to move for your application.
  • Speed and precision are also extremely important. A faster robot can complete more tasks in less time, while a high-precision robot can handle more delicate parts or assembly tasks. In general, higher speed and precision come at a higher cost.
  • Finally, think about the level of programming you need. Some SCARA robots are plug-and-play, while others require more complex programming to operate. Robots that can handle more advanced programming are usually more expensive.
  • Consider the robot's reach and motion capabilities. The range and fluidity of motion a SCARA robot has can significantly impact its suitability for specific tasks. So, assess whether the robot's reach and ability to navigate complex paths align with the operational demands of your shop floor.
  • Evaluate how well the robot will integrate with your existing systems. It's very important to consider how well the SCARA robot integrates with your current manufacturing ecosystem; compatibility with existing machinery and software can streamline the automation process and reduce setup time. And the opposite can also make it into an organizational nightmare. 
  • Give some thought to after-sales support and warranty. Understanding the level of support and warranty provided with your SCARA robot can save considerable time and resources in the long run. 

To ensure your investment is well-protected, try to prioritize vendors offering comprehensive after-sales service, including maintenance and technical support.

Budgeting for a SCARA robot

Now, the next step is figuring out how much you can budget for your new bot. 

Keep these in mind, because they all affect the final price considerably: 

  • Size and payload impact: This is one of the most important factors when it comes to pricing. Smaller, lighter robots are more affordable, while larger, heavy-lifting models come with a heftier (pun intended) price tag. Assess your part or product handling needs to choose the right payload capacity.
  • Axis complexity: The number of motion axes adds to a robot's complexity and cost. A basic four-axis SCARA is the most cost-effective, while additional axes for rotation or specialized tasks raise the price. 
  • What are the software costs? Advanced controllers and programming software can significantly affect the price, potentially adding tens of thousands to the cost. Although pricier, they might offer long-term savings over external programming services. Simpler, menu-driven interfaces offer a more affordable, albeit less flexible, option.
  • The price of extras: Adding optional accessories like conveyors, feeders, vision systems, and specialized tooling can escalate the investment in your SCARA robot work cell. To manage expenses, invest only in add-ons that enhance production efficiency or product quality. Strategic planning can let you create an automated SCARA workcell for under $100k – though high-precision, high-speed assembly setups might reach $200k or way more.
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High-end vs. budget SCARA robots

When should you go for a higher-end option, and when should you invest in a budget SCARA arm? We’ll make a case for both options.

In the case of high-end robots: 

  • When complexity gets high: If your tasks are intricate and demand precision, splurging on a top-tier SCARA robot like the EPSON models makes sense. They bring the speed, capacity, and precision (down to 0.02mm repeatability) you need.
  • Tough enough for any environment: With an IP54 rating or better, these robots are built to withstand even the most demanding conditions, making them excellent for tough workspaces.
  • Investment in efficiency: Expect an investment range of $30,000 to $100,000 for a high-quality four-axis SCARA robot. Though the cost is upfront, the long-term benefits include durability and years of dependable operation.
  • Precision where it counts: High-end SCARA robots are perfect for sectors where accuracy and speed are non-negotiable, like in producing electronic components.

Budget-friendly options:

  • An ally for the basics: For basic tasks like pick-and-place, sorting, or assembly, an entry-level SCARA robot is both effective and pretty economical. 
  • What to expect: These robots typically have smaller 2 to 3kg payloads, precision between 0.05 to 0.5mm, and can perform up to 200 picks per minute, which is nothing to scoff at. 
  • Easy on the pocket: You can get a decent budget SCARA robot for under $10,000, making advanced automation accessible even if you’re a little short on cash. 
  • Best for limited use: While they're more wallet-friendly, expect these models to have a shorter operational life and less versatility for complex jobs. However, they're perfectly suited for smaller operations, educational settings, or R&D initiatives.

As a matter of course, compare options from different suppliers to find a robot that has the capabilities you need. Then, it’s just a matter of going with the choice that delivers the best bang for your buck. 

Summing up

SCARA robots can be quite an investment, but if you choose the right model for your needs and budget well, you'll find the cost is well worth it. 

With a bit of upfront planning and research, you can get an automated solution that improves your production and quality control — hopefully without having to put up a second mortgage on your house.

So, the next time you're looking to scale up with automation, keep SCARAs in mind, get multiple quotes, and always shop around! 

You'll be well on your way to leveraging robotic technology to maximize efficiency and take your operations to the next level.

Next steps 

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