Carriere Industrial Supply (CIS) in Sudbury, Canada produces heavy earth-moving equipment for harsh mining environments. With large workpieces that are difficult to move and a low-volume, high-mix manufacturing environment, traditional robots aren’t ideal. Cobots from Universal Robots (UR) let CIS bring the robot to work—rather than the other way around – to improve product quality, output, and employee safety.
The business transformation
Plasma-cutting cobot saves 1,000 hours on a single project. Manual plasma cutting leaves an accumulation of dross at the bottom of the piece along with jagged edges that occur when workers need to reposition themselves for long cuts. Cleaning up the manual cut accounts for 80 percent of plasma-cutting time, making that an ideal area for improvement. CIS deployed a UR10e cobot to plasma cut large metal parts, achieving a more precise cut and the possibility of eliminating the grinding and cleanup of joints. Operators appreciate that the work is more rewarding and less physically demanding, and are easily able to reposition the robot for cut improvements. The project provided significant time and cost savings. On a single large truck body contract over the next three years, the trimming process would be more than 50 hours for every truck. The UR cobot reduced that time to 12 hours per truck, ultimately delivering savings of 1,000 hours on that project alone.