Cobots stabilize processes and guarantee delivery capability

Hofmann Glastechnik Gmbh

In short

Starting with the first cobot in 2016, Hofmann Glastechnik has eight UR cobots supporting glass apparatus manufacturing today. The cobots load several glass lathes and are actively involved in the forming of glass.

Then as now, the cobots impress with their consistent operation. They stabilize production processes, increase product, and work quality while ensuring reliable delivery capability. The increased machine utilization has resulted in a 25 percent increase in effectiveness with the cobots paying themselves back in less than 12 months. The cobots were primarily intended to free the skilled labor at Hofmann Glastechnik from repetitive tasks. This included loading several PLC-controlled glass lathes, which required the cobots to handle sensitive glass tubes.

UR Cobots Models Used: 1x UR10 2x UR5 4x UR10e 1x UR3e

Hofmann Glastechnik Gmbh

Industry Medical and Cosmetics, Electronics and Technology
Country Germany
Number of Employees 5-25
Cobots used UR10e & UR5 & UR3e
Implementing the first cobot

Implementing the first cobot

"When we bought the first cobot, it was simply out of curiosity. The price was manageable. And I said to myself: just go out and try it," says CEO Robert Hofmann.

Hofmann implemented a UR10 to load and unload a glass lathe and quickly saw the benefits. The machine ran more consistently and longer. Orders could be served better, and skilled workers could be freed up.

More robot arms followed

More robot arms followed

Seven more robot arms followed, and the applications became more complex. In addition to loading the machines, the cobots are also involved in forming glasses. For example, one UR10e is equipped with a forming tool. Another UR10e guides a gas burner on a workpiece.

"The cobots take care of the small batches and large production runs, while the skilled workers take care of complex products according to customer requirements. This means that people can once again focus on where their strengths lie and where they enjoy their craft," says Hofmann with satisfaction.

Due to automation, we are now in a situation where no one can harm us. We produce high quality products at a fair price. And above all, we can deliver on time. These are advantages that our customers appreciate

Robert Hofmann, CEO at Hofmann Glastechnik
Eight UR robots supporting Hofmann Glastechnik in Germany

These cobots bring so much added value that you are inclined to buy several quickly. Today we have a total of eight robots. They help us enormously with the high volume of orders we have

Robert Hofmann, CEO at Hofmann Glastechnik
A UR10e cobot

A UR10e cobot

A UR10e cobot handles part of the forming process by holding and guiding a torch tool to a glass part.

A UR5 cobot

A UR5 cobot

This UR5 cobot equips a glass lathe with a workpiece and a small glass plate. In the end, a closed glass tube is created here.

Automation challenges solved:

  • Skilled labor freed from repetitive tasks
  • Successful handling of sensitive glass tubes by the ur cobots
  • Ability to automate high mix/low volume production

Key value drivers:

  • Increased utilization of machines increases effectiveness by 25 percent
  • Payback per cobot within one year
  • Intuitive programming to develop the cobot application with in-house resources

Tasks solved by collaborative robots

  • Machine tending on glass lathes
  • Forming of glasses - process-supporting

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