In order to simultaneously increase productivity and improve the quality of their audio equipment, Beyerdynamic relies on collaborative robots in the coating of its loudspeaker membranes. For automation the process was firstly divided into two parts, handling and spraying. In a pick and place application, a UR5 robot with an integrated Robotiq wrist camera and a Robotiq 2-finger gripper places a welded headphone loudspeaker on a rotary motor. A UR3 with an integrated spray gun then takes over the spraying process and coats the membrane by spraying it with a dispersion medium. The use of cobots has enabled productivity to be increased by 50 percent at this point in the production process while significantly improving quality at the same time.
The business transformation
As a long-established company producing mainly in Germany, Beyerdynamic was faced with the challenge of increasing productivity by 50 percent without neglecting the quality standards of their brand while retaining the same capacity with regard to production resources. However, this is not easily possible in the case of particularly delicate work steps, which are traditionally carried out by hand, without endangering process stability. For example, the membranes of the loudspeakers have to be refined at one point within the production sequence by coating them with a dispersion medium. Up to the automation stage, three employees, who applied the medium to the membrane by hand with a brush, were responsible for this process. “Of course, it is impossible for humans to paint evenly over a long period of time. At some point, one brushstroke becomes thicker and another thinner. Accordingly, our membranes showed strong fluctuations with regard to their quality" says Jörg Lang, production engineer at beyerdynamic.