COBOTS HANDLE L’ORÉAL’S HEAVY LIFTING
At L’Oréal India’s Pune plant, end-of-the-line operations were being carried out manually, with operators lifting approximately 8,500 kilograms (18,700 lbs) of product per 8-hour shift. L’Oréal India considered this too great an ergonomic risk for its operators and deployed two UR10s to take over. Cobots enabled the company to completely eliminate human labor on packaging and palletizing and improved overall equipment effectiveness in the plant by 5%, thanks to the time saved in pallet replacement. “Collaborative robots have helped eliminate the ergonomic risk completely. They are user-friendly, maintenance-free and extremely efficient. We are really happy to have Universal Robots’ cobots on our line,” said Ranjit Ekda.
NIPPON ZETTIC INCORPORATES BEST FEATURES OF PEOPLE AND ROBOTS ON ITS LINE
In Japan, leading toothpaste OEM, NIPPON ZETTOC CO. LTD., introduced UR5 cobots to tackle labor shortages on their packaging and box erecting line. “People can work flexibly, but of course there are negative points such as the fact that they may suddenly take off from work and there are differences in skills,” said Mr. Junichi Kano, manager of NIPPON’S Production Technology Department. “Therefore, our goal is to make a line that incorporates the best features of people and robots.” The company’s inner-box packing line, which used to require two people, now requires one person and four UR5 cobots, enabling continuous production when workers take breaks. The UR5s sped up production too, providing a 30 percent increase in the number of products packaged per hour. The outer-box packing line is now fully automated by a UR5 while staff work on more value-added tasks such as material supply and process inspection.
PALLETIZING WIZARD BECAME THE FAVORITE
Ease of use is a quality Universal Robots strive for in all our solutions. To simplify programming for palletizing tasks, we’ve included a special palletizing wizard in our Polyscope OS. The wizard enables the user to just teach the corners of a box and add its dimensions, while the robot works out where in the grid the parts should be placed.
Specialist aerospace component manufacturer Tool Gauge used our palletizing wizard to reduce labor costs and free workers from repetitive and time-consuming tasks at its Seattle, U.S., facility. Originally, an easily damaged copper machined part was being produced by a fully-attended journeyman CNC machinist simply to pull parts off a CNC chute, clean, rinse, dry, and box them. Now, a UR3 cobot picks the parts up, places them in a rinse bath, then holds them up in front of a dryer and then drops each part into individual cardboard cells in a grid pattern.
“The palletizing wizard has become our favorite,” explains manufacturing engineer at Tool Gauge, Steve Ouzsts. “It’s just so powerful and easy to do.” General manager at Tool Gauge, Jim Lee, estimates that the company saved $9,000 on reduced labor on the very first order. “We are no longer wasting our machinist’s talents but can have him focus on higher-value projects such as setting up and programming the CNC machines,” he explains.
This post was first published on: The Robot Report