Cobots going strong after 10 years of operation

Heemskerk Fijnmechanica B.V

In short

Heemskerk, a medium-sized manufacturer of high-precision parts, was one of the first adopters of collaborative robots in Holland and has been relying on cobot automation in its production for over a decade. UR cobots load CNC machines and clean workpieces. By taking over these repetitive and monotonous tasks, they free up qualified workers from unpleasant or strenuous tasks, thereby improving the work environment and the ability to retain staff. Constantly changing products in varying batch sizes posed a challenge for the Dutch company with machines having to be reprogrammed for each order. For small batch sizes, that meant reprogramming every day.

The often very long cycle times of the CNC machines also meant that the tedious task of loading the machines tied up skilled workers valuable work time.

"In order to keep up with international competition, we have to work efficiently and need many production hours," explains Lucien Heemskerk, owner and technical director. "If you want to keep your production in the Netherlands, you have to be creative, think outside the box and do things differently than everyone else.”

Heemskerk Fijnmechanica B.V

Industry Metal and Machining
Country Europe
Number of Employees 25-50
Cobots used: UR5 & UR10
Video - UR5 & UR10, Heemskerk Fijnmechanica B.V, Netherlands

The solution

For Heemskerk, the logical step was to automate tedious and monotonous tasks such as loading CNC machines or cleaning workpieces. The medium-sized company began implementing UR cobots for these tasks about ten years ago.

UR robots with their easy operability had just entered the market and were ideally equipped for the constantly changing products and small batch sizes: Thanks to the intuitive user interface, every employee can program the cobots quickly and easily without any prior robotics experience. The UR robots can thus be adjusted to high mix/low volume production within a very short time. Since the cobots do not require any space-consuming safety cages, they can simply be deployed next to the employee after a completed risk assessment, ensuring a lean and versatile production.

Impressed by the advantages, Heemskerk, with the help of its long-term partner and UR system integrator Gibas Automation B.V., integrated one of the first cobots in the Netherlands: a UR5 with a blower application for cleaning parts. The robot still performs this task today. Over the last ten years, this first robot has been joined by several colleagues. Heemskerk now uses a total of eight UR robots, one UR5 and seven UR10. Of these, five UR10s load different types of CNC machines. Two additional UR10s work together with an industrial robot to clean workpieces.

It's difficult to find skilled workers. You have to make sure to keep the ones you have. By having the cobots of Universal Robots take on boring and exhausting tasks, I can offer my employees more interesting fields of activity and more responsibility.

Lucien Heemskerk, Owner and Technical Director
UR10 Cobot, Heemskerk Fijnmechanica B.V., NetherlandsUR10 Cobot, Heemskerk Fijnmechanica B.V., NetherlandsUR10 Cobot, Heemskerk Fijnmechanica B.V., NetherlandsUR10 Cobot, Heemskerk Fijnmechanica B.V., Netherlands


  • High-precision parts

Key value drivers:

  • Flexible, adjustable to new product in a short period of time
  • Easy programming
  • Safe and collaborative, can work without safe guarding alongside workers after successfully completed risk assessment Precise and reliable
  • Steady

Tasks solved by collaborative robots:

  • Pick-and-Place
  • 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

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