The family company Attl a spol. S.r.o. Továrna Na Stroje (machinery factory) has expanded its product range into automotive segment. For one of the Volkswagen suppliers, the company started to produce stainless steel tubes used in heat exchangers in EGR valves of modern combustion engines for both passenger and commercial vehicles, whose main task is to reduce exhaust emissions.
The business transformation
A new production line was supposed, in accordance with the company’s original plan, to directly produce the final product, however, a test run proved that one more operation is necessary – rounding the edges of the manufactured tubes. In the first phase, the manipulation with the semi-finished product, i.e. inserting the tubes into an edge rounding machine, was carried out manually by human operators, at the same time, however, the company began to intensively seek an automated solution for this monotonous operation. The initially designed mechanical solution proved to be highly unreliable, therefore a decision was made to purchase a robot. Having no previous experience with industrial robots, the company was offered the opportunity to try an UR5 robot, provided by the Liberec company EXACTEC, the Universal Robots distributor.
“Although our company manufactures and supplies its customers with tools to automate manufacturing, we have not had the opportunity to work with industrial robots before,” says Tomas Attl, sales director at Attl a spol. s.r.o. Továrna na stroje. “Then we had the robot arm from Universal Robots borrowed for a few months, but even after a couple of days it was absolutely clear that the use of light industrial robots is exactly the right direction to follow to modernize our operation in the future.”