Automation Case Study: A 65% Time Saving

When people ask us why we’re so positive about automation, we’re baffled. Not because it’s a difficult question, but because it’s an easy one.

Why wouldn’t you want to invest in something that creates jobs, improves productivity and is more consistent?

There’s a lot of negative press when it comes to automation. But when you look at evidence, not just at the doom and gloom headlines, you start to see that it not only has huge benefits to investors, but there is huge scope for growth in this country.

Take one of our more recent projects for example.

KME, a Northern Irish manufacturer of steel components used in a variety of industries, were finding it difficult to source skilled workers within their production line and opted to look to automation as a means to bridge the gap.

And this is where we come in…

Experts in automation and with a flair for welding processes, like with all our customers we ensured that we worked closely with KME to not only provide them with a solution for their needs, but one that would benefit them, their staff and the industry as a whole.

KUKA robot in the cell

Trials are usually the first step on the ladder of automation, and with the capabilities that we possess, we could refine the welding process in one of our bays and agree with the customer, even before the order was placed.

The reason? Confidence.

Confidence in the process, confidence in the robot and confidence in our ability to execute the outcome we know automation can produce.

The result of all of this is an automated system featuring a KUKA KR6 R1820 robot, Fronius TPS 400i weld set, Abicor Binzel cleaning station and a host of innovative ‘bells & whistles’ to make the welding process as quick and easy as possible. Featuring tooling, designed and manufactured by our experienced engineers specifically for KME’s part, the system also features a touchscreen HMI which allows the human operator to connect with the system and monitor everything in real-time.

HMI (Human-Machine Inteface) as part of larger system.

From a process that has always been completed by KME’s staff with a cycle time of between 6-8 minutes, the introduction of automation has reduced that time by 65%, a reduction of almost 5 minutes, allowing KME to increase its output significantly.

Not only this but automation ensures consistency and has allowed KME to continue to manufacture to their high levels despite at times finding it difficult to recruit. On top of this, staff have not been replaced and instead are being offered the chance to learn new skills and venture into new avenues, opportunities to become robot programmers and technicians have become available entirely because of the investment in automation.

Automation is winning people over slowly, but there is still scaremongering out there. Technology is changing in all elements of life, and manufacturing is no different. In order to be at the cutting edge, you need to invest in the cutting edge and that’s where a robotic system comes in. Not only does it give you that edge, but allows you to upskill your staff, improve your output and become an industry leader. Automation isn’t taking jobs. It’s nurturing them and driving the industry forward.

All you have to do is check the facts.

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