User-friendly robot reduces risk of work-related injuries
Plastic and Polymers
To reduce the risk of Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) among employees, Clamcleats Ltd invested in a robot solution to replace manual clipping. The robot turned out to be a highly efficient worker, enabling its human counterparts to perform three tasks at once. Now, the company are ready for further automation.
Traditional robots can boost productivity but generally they need high production volumes to justify both capital cost and integration time. For British cleat manufacturer, Clamcleats Ltd, employee health concerns drove the company to look for a solution to this dilemma.
“There is an RSI risk with manual clipping. To avoid this, our preference has been to clip the runners when still warm and relatively soft. But this puts limitations on when to run our injection moulding machines. Automation gives us much greater production flexibility”, explains Julian Emry, Director of Clamcleat Ltd
The answer for Clamcleats Ltd was a Universal Robot: A small, lightweight industrial robot arm with six axes of movement. Exceptionally quick and easy to install, the robot was ready to run within a couple of hours.
The Universal Robot was programmed to transfer uncut parts to the clippers and signal them when to cut. But the robot can also be used for loading and unloading the CNC machines. That type of flexibility makes Universal Robots a safe choice, says Julian Emry. Process engineer, Steve Blease ads:
“Teaching the robot is child’s play, both Julian and I taught ourselves within a day.”
UR5 collaborative robot, Clamcleats Ltd, Germany
Today, the robot provides significant productivity benefits at Clamcleats Ltd. Whereas the clipping process used to be a separate activity, it can now be accomplished automatically alongside quality checking and packing.
With RSI risks reduced, the Clamcleats Ltd now turns its attention to high volume products that run in batch sizes of up to 10.000 - and the company is confident that its robot investment will reduce lead times significantly in this regard.
- To reduce the risk of Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) among employees.
- Clamcleats Ltd invested in a robot solution to replace manual clipping.
- Payback period: 7 – 10 months.
- Easy programming
- Fast set-up
- Flexible deployment
- Collaborative and safe
- Fast payback
- Injection moulding
- Machine tending
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Cost-effective, safe and flexible collaborative robots - or cobots- are making automation easier than ever, even for the small and mid-sizes companies.