UR5 robots key to SME’s automation project, delivering instant 10% increase in production of dental equipment.
01 the short story
Nichrominox is one of the thousands of French SMES (small medium enterprises) facing increasing international competition on a daily basis. To take on the cut-throat competition, Nichrominox opted to invest in four UR5 cobot arms, and immediately saw increased productivity, reduced labor costs and improved employee well-being.
02 the challenge
Nichrominox, a family-owned company from Saint-Bonnet-de-Mure (near Lyon, France), has sold sterilization equipment for dentists for 40 years and today faces growing competition from countries with low labor costs. The company turned to Universal Robots in order to automate selected tasks and enhance its productivity and competitiveness.
Video — UR5 Robot, Nichrominox, France
03 the solution
Nichrominox selected Universal Robots through one of its distributors in France, HMi-MBS, to automate a bending cell, feed a machine and assemble products alongside an operator. Four UR5 robots were needed and deployed on three separate production lines:
Pick and place: The robot performs a punching operation on one press, then turns components on a shuttle table and finally performs a bending operation on a second press.
CNC: The robot is fully integrated with the machining center, enabling operators to save time, improve the quality of their work and reduce the risk of repetitive strain injuries.
Collaborative assembly: An assembly station is run by an operator and a machine working side by side in full collaboration, without the need for any additional protection. The operator activates the robot by applying pressure (through an integrated force sensor in the gripper), which makes the robot easy to manage.
Nichrominox’ robots are programmed by an in-house programmer, Cédric Lefrancq-lumiere. Cédric only needed two days of training from the distributor, HMi-MBS, to be able to program a robot for a new manufacturing operation, a task that takes no more than two hours. He is currently applying his training to refining the robots’ programming, with the aim of improving both quality and performance.
04 the benefits
Nichrominox is delighted with the results it has achieved with its Universal Robots robot arms. In addition to lessening the drudgery of monotonous tasks and reducing risk for employees, automation has had an immediate impact for the company. “The robots UR5 allowed us to gain 10% of productivity instantly,” details Éric Lefrancq-lumiere, Nichrominox General Manager.
The experience has been very positive with regard to the simplicity of implementation and its low cost as they saw an ROI on the robots in 14 months. The company intends to pursue its transformation and acquire additional cobots shortly.
UR5 collaborative robot, Nichrominox, France
- Immediate productivity increase of 10%.
- Reduced costs.
- Improved working conditions for employee.
- Easy programming
- Fast set-up
- Collaborative and safe
- Flexible deployment
- Packaging and palletizing
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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-sized companies.