The New World of Automotive Manufacturing: Cobots Optimize Quality, Output and ROI for OEMs and Suppliers
Whether you’re an automotive parts manufacturer, a Tier 1 supplier, or a vehicle OEM in a large automated plant, collaborative robots—or cobots—can help you increase productivity, improve product quality, reduce costs and boost profit margins so you can compete more effectively. Cobots can also help with today’s labor issues, making the working environment safer and more ergonomic and satisfying for employees, so you can boost retention rates and get higher value from your workers.
And we’re not the only ones saying that.
We recently presented a well-attended webinar with Automotive Design and Production magazine where we introduced case studies from multiple automotive suppliers and manufacturers. You can access the archived webinar here to get more details on how to implement cobots, their capabilities, and their advantages – along with ROI calculations. But here’s a snapshot of a few automotive applications to get your imagination all revved up.
PSA GROUP USES UR ROBOTS FOR ITS “PLANT OF THE FUTURE”
PSA Group is Europe’s second-largest car manufacturer, with brands that include Citroën, DS, Peugeot, Vauxhall, and Opel. PSA Group needed to increase its factory performance, improve worker ergonomics, and reduce production costs as part of its “Plant of the Future” initiative. The company created an assembly line with UR10 robots mounted on a moving platform. Programming for the line took only a month, with amazing results:
- 200,000 cars produced online in the first year
- Zero failures reported
- 10% improvement in geometric dimensioning & tolerance (GD&T)
- Significant cost savings
- Improved worker ergonomics
- Multiple national and international patents filed
ALL AXIS MACHINING BRINGS LEGACY EQUIPMENT UP TO SPEED
- First automated job completed 2 ½ months early with a 60% profit increase
- ROI for the robot in 4 months
- Spindle up-time increased from 8 to 20 hours per day
- Accuracy and quality improved
A UR5 applies primer on vehicle deck lids at Tribar Manufacturing, a Tier 1 automotive supplier in Michigan. The application spared workers from exposure to chemical fumes and delivered 100% quality
BMW has been so pleased with their UR cobots they launched an awareness campaign featuring the ergonomic benefits now experienced by employees that saw the most monotonous and physically straining work carried out by their cobot colleagues
The cobot is attached to a post, which goes under the vehicle in production. Two operators pull down the vehicle and block it on both sides. Then, UR10 follows a well-defined cycle: it inserts three screws on the right side and three on the left. It refolds itself at the end of the operation and two light bulbs light up to indicate if the work is correctly done.
Machining parts for the automotive industry have now been automated at All Axis Machining, a small machine shop in Dallas, Texas. The company had no prior robotics experience and was able to integrate five UR10 cobots into their products in less than half a year
BMW IMPROVES WORKER SAFETY AND IMPROVES QUALITY
TRIBAR MANUFACTURING GAINS COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
Results speak for themselves:
- Primer application
- 100% quality
- Savings on chemicals overused by manual labor
- Workers spared from exposure to chemical fumes
- Degating application
- Cycle time reduced more than 50%
- Better product quality with improved precision
- Risks of hand and wrist injuries eliminated