Cobots Solve Labor Shortage and Product Rejects at an Indian SME, Delivering 20% Production Increase
01 the short storyAfter automotive component manufacturer Craft and Technik Industries (CATI) deployed collaborative robots for automatic inspection and CNC machine tending, efficiency has increased with production volume going up 15–20% with no defects or customer rejections.
02 the challengeBeing an SME, most manufacturing tasks at CATI were handled manually but the company was facing problems finding manual labor, and was also looking for a way to reduce the number of customer rejections for faulty components.
Video — UR10 Robots, Craft and Technik Industries (CATI), Pune, India
03 the solution
The key reason for implementing UR cobots was their collaborative safety features. At CATI, a lot of operators work on the shop floor and the company did not want to seclude an area because of the robotic operations. The payload of the cobots was also imperative – the weight of the components manufactured by CATI range from about 1 – 5 kgs. Universal Robots’ largest model, the UR 10, lifts up to 10kgs, making for the perfect tool for CATI’s requirements.
The primary use of the UR10 is loading and unloading a vertical CNC machine. Additionally, the cobot is used for automatic inspection. Here, the cobot places a component on a weighing machine, takes feedback via digital input to decide whether the part meets its weight requirement or not, and then proceeds to sort the component accordingly.
Thus, customers are ensured that they do not receive any faulty components. The cobots, so far, have helped manufacture 40,000 parts, with zero defects or customer rejections.
“We talk about unemployment all over the country but the truth with the SME sector is that we actually can’t find enough qualified labor,” said Prashant Shantaram Umbrani, CEO of CATI. “So, the best combination for us is incorporating robots in our manufacturing, alongside human workers. Smartly combining the number of machines and robots ensures that the payback period will be faster,” said the CEO, recommending his SME fraternity embrace automation. “The time has come for SMEs to automate – robots are no longer the prerogative of large-scale industries only.”
By the time the cobot finishes weighing components from one machine, the second machine is ready with fresh components for the cobot to inspect, making for perfectly timed operations. CATI has already witnessed a 15-20% increase in its production after deploying the UR10, and is aiming for a 30% increase.
Easy-to-use UR cobots, even with no programming experience at Craft and Technik Industries (CATI), India
CNC machine tending and quality inspection applications by UR10 collaborative robot at Craft and Technik Industries (CATI), India
Simple, hands-on programming the UR10 cobot for different applications at Craft and Technik Industries (CATI), India
Human and Robot working together at Craft and Technik Industries (CATI), India
04 The Product
Established in 1996, Craft and Technik Industries (CATI) are manufacturers of precision components, mainly for the automobile industry. Their product range includes various pulleys, impellers, and gear and pump covers. As of 2018, they export 70% of their products. The deployment of UR cobots is a testament to CATI’s vision to explore automation and keep in line with the latest technology.
- Solves issue of labor scarcity faced by Indian SMEs competing with MNCs for manpower
- Works in constrained area on shop floor
- Increase in quality and quantity of output
- Zero rejections ensured
- Cobot(s) Deployed: 1 UR10
- Operates in constrained space without any cage
- Collaborative and safe around employees
- Perfectly timed operations
- Ensures no defective parts reach customer
- Machine Tending
- Quality inspection
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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.