Many manufactures all over the world are being affected by the seasonal variability involved in consumer preferences and demand. The continuous labor ramping up and down is also common making it difficult to adequately staff the work place and still remain competitive. This makes robotic automation attractive to industry players who want to stay in business.
Universal Robots has seen an increase in demand for the collaborative robots from manufacturers looking for automation solutions that will not involve large scale investment. These smart collaborative robots (cobots) are so easy to install, can withstand high peak shift and seasonal requirements across the diverse manufacturing and production lines needed
Even unions representing manufacturing workers support cobots use since it is a cutting edge thing to have humans and robots work together. The cobots engage in the difficult and strenuous tasks while the workers conduct complex inspection or manipulation jobs. This saves the employees’ time while allowing them to use their skills in more demanding tasks.
Collaborative robots are popular in industries involved in manufacturing and assembly activities. For instance, the small parts assembly requires a constant high speed manufacturing robot to increase the efficiency of the operation. Manufacturers need flexible automation that can easily adapt to their specific production activities and also support multiple automation tasks.
Case study of a company using Collaborative robots to achieve automation
Creating Revolutions is a Miami based company that makes customer service paging system for the hospitality industry. Unfortunately, they were experiencing a double digit product reject rates in the assembly of their hospitality service pager.
The Challenge they faced
The service pager is a hockey puck sized communication disc that connects guests with their waiter via the smart smartphone. Assembling this disc is a complex task which requires high level of accuracy and repeatability.
The problem is that it is very hard to successfully repeat a specific process in an exact manner again and again manually.
When searching for the ideal solution, the company sampled over 40 different robotic companies but most of them did not have a good programming feature for the robots while some needed too many adjustments, or they were too big and space consuming.
Fortunately, they settled on the UR3 cobot arm. The robot had the exact precision they desired and it has enabled them minimize the project reject rate from double digits to below 1%. Their overhead has also drastically decreased while increasing their production in high multiple.
The UR3 manufacturing robot handles two specific cycles. The first is to conduct assessment of the aluminum housing components ensuring that they are correctly lined on a tray. The cobot then takes the component, places it right into a clamp, picks up a silicone injector and aligns the silicone, then it places an acrylic disc on top before pitting the assembled part back on the tray.
The Next step is drilling and soldering where the robot selects a disc with a copper base out of a dispenser, and puts it into an optical laser sensor which aligns the disc, the cobot then puts the disk into a holder where it fixes it by closing the two clamps.
The UR3 robot arm grabs a drill from the application belt and conducts a perk drilling system since the acrylic shatters when force is applied to it. The robot arm is well sensitive to pop it in until it makes an ideal hollow. With the drilling process complete, the UR3 picks the soldering iron and adds 3 points of pre-soldering. Having the UR3 conduct the pre-soldering task has increased the overall efficiency of the process almost 5 times fold.
By having the collaborative robot perform several assembly tasks has become a major selling point for Creating Revolutions. When their customers see the UR3 at work, they realize that the quality and precision is guaranteed because the cobot demonstrates to them a strength which makes them feel like the product that they are going to use will not fail them.