Even a small machine factory
can invest in a robot
The third-generation family-owned machine factory Konetehdas K&K in Helsinki acquired its first robots in 2011. President and CEO engineer Kari Karaslahti admits that he had thought robots to be big, bulky, and difficult to program. Until the company received its first Universal Robots robot.
Client: Konetehdas K&K / Distributor: TM-Plast Oy
- When the first robot arrived, my son Ari went to our conference room with it, closed the door and placed it to the table and piled lego-pieces around it. It took him two hours to program the robot to make movements, that we needed. It was really intuitive!
A third-generation family-owned company
Founded in 1946 Helsinki-based Konetehdas K&K Ltd offers its customers a wide range of machinery services. The core of operations are one-off and small production runs. The company's machinery and equipment is suitable for the pieces of maximum of two-meters.
The company's machinery consists of manual milling machines, turning machines and modern 4-axis programmable machining centers.
- We are specialized in manufacturing unique pieces and 5-50 pieces mini-series. We also manufacture entire machines, machine parts and old production machinery spare parts, which are an important part of our business, Kari Karaslahti tells.
Konetehdas K&K's clients are Finnish companies operating in the international market. They expect accurate deliveries, high quality and competitive pricing.
A robot into use in 2 hours
Konetehdas K&K's latest acquisitions are two robots from Universal Robots. The first one arrived in 2011, the latter in the autumn of 2012.
When Kari's son Ari Karaslahti managed to take the first robot into use in two hours a year ago, it was attached next to a machine tool. The robot only took the pieces from a stand, supplied them for grinding and plces them back to the stand.
Kari Karaslahti says that the first robot was initially doing only grinding.
- It's a monotonous, but the high-precision operation. In addition, we utilized it in pre machining.
- After some experience we really started to understand how many ways we could really use this fast programmable and only 18 kg robot. When the same pieces had to be machined elsewhere too, it is convenient that also the robot is easy to move and program next to the other machine as well. The transfer can be done quickly because the robot does not require any protective equipment, Kari Karaslahti says.
After the frst programming the robot also detects its location and chooses automatically the suitable configuration according its location.
- You can also connect machine vision to the robot. That enables it to pick the right items from a pile of different pieces. Now we place those parts precisely to certain points, but machine vision would save us this work.
The robot works in the factory over the weekend
According Kari Karaslahti the next development target at Konetehdas K&K is place the small series of palettes such way, thet can the robot can be left to work over the weekend.
- I would love to leave the robot to work on Friday evening, even turn the lights off, go home for the weekend and return on Monday to calculate the finished pieces, he says.
Konetehdas K&K's quality has been audited ISO 9002 and ISO 14001 standards.