Cobots help SME sustain market leading position

Hailo GMBH & CO.KG

In short

Hailo uses three cobots from Universal Robots to relieve its employees of strenuous activities while guaranteeing high product standards. The company has deployed a UR5 to equip stepladders with operating instructions and accessories, and a UR10 and a UR10e to feed sheet metal bodies to die-cutting machines. The modern cobot technology ensures cost-optimized production and supports the medium-sized company in sustaining its leading position on the market.

The business transformation

For two years now, stepladders have had to be provided with operating instructions. This change in standards prompted Hailo to redesign the ladder manufacturing process. Facing a shortage of skilled labor, Hailo did not consider attaching the brochures by hand, instead the company endeavours to delegate more physically demanding, repetitive work to machines, offering employees more interesting tasks that promise higher added value.

Since the facility in which the ladders are produced offers little space, Meik Schmidt, production manager at the plant in Haiger, and process manager Heinz Hild were looking for a compact automation solution that would be easy to integrate into the production line. Through trade fairs and magazines, the two men became aware of collaborative robotics that allows for a safe coexistence of man and machine.

After examining several suppliers, Hailo finally opted for a cobot from Universal Robots: "We were particularly impressed by the low space consumption of the collaborative robots from UR. Once the risk assessment has been successfully completed, they can directly work together with the colleagues on the production line without being separated from them by protective fences," explains Hild. Their ease of use and the wide range of applications were additional plus factors for Hailo.

Hailo GMBH & CO.KG

Industry Metal and Machining
Country Europe
Number of Employees 100-500
Cobots used UR5, UR10 & UR10e
Video — UR5, UR10, and UR10e robots

"With the cobots from Universal Robots, we're securing our competitiveness and remain an attractive employer."

HEINZ HILD , Group Leader Process Management and Engineering, Hailo
Partnering for success

Partnering for success

Together with the UR partner MS Electronics GmbH, Hailo developed an application with a UR5 cobot. It places up to 1,100 operating instructions per eight-hour shift onto pre-assembled stepladders before they are packed and taken to the warehouse.

The UR5 is positioned directly next to a conveyor belt. As soon as a ladder is approaching on the belt, the cobot picks up a booklet from a magazine with a vacuum gripper. It moves it to a hot glue gun applying adhesive and finally affixes it with light pressure to one of the steps of the ladder. Other ladder models are equipped by the UR5 with accessory cartons which are clamped to the ladders.

ROI in less than a year

ROI in less than a year

Due to the smooth implementation of the UR5 and the rapid amortization of the acquisition costs, the cobot paid itself back in less than a year. Hailo commissioned the development of two additional UR cobot applications in two of its plants manufacturing waste bins. At the plants, one UR10 and one UR10e each handle painted sheet metal cylinders. The two cobots pick up the blanks with a double gripper specially designed for Hailo. They place them in die-cutting machines where holes are stamped into the cylinders. The implementation of the two applications was challenging: "We had to coordinate the feeding of several die-cutting machines and make sure that the painting of the sheet metal parts was not damaged during handling," explains Marc Straußfeld, owner and managing director of MS Electronics.

Team players

Team players

The decision in favor of collaborative robotics has paid off for Hailo in every respect. Instead of laboriously inserting the sheet metal bodies into the die-cutting machines by hand, as was the case in the past, the employees today just have to ensure sufficient stock of parts and monitor the production process. They can take on more demanding tasks in the final assembly or other departments. "At Hailo, the robots from UR are now a natural part of the team," summarizes production manager Schmidt. "Thanks to their high repeat accuracy, we maintain our high product standards and the trust in the Hailo brand - because we make no compromises in quality and safety."

Automation challenges solved:

  • Ability to automate tasks in space restrained work envelope with no room for safety guarding
  • Employees freed from stressful, repetitive tasks

Key value drivers:

  • Cost-optimized production
  • Quality assurance through high repeatability of the cobots
  • Safe and collaborative, working side by side with employees after successful risk assessment

Tasks solved by collaborative robots:

  • Material Handeling
  • Welding
  • Machine Tending

Get in touch with Universal Robots

Thousands of businesses rely on Collaborative Robots to...

- Increase productivity
- Adapt to changing product demand
- Improve employee well-being and retention
- Staff through labor shortages

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  • Universal Robots USA, Inc
  • 27175 Haggerty Road, Suite 160
  • 48377 Novi, MI
Contact us: +1 844-462-6268
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