When the Raymath CEO found a UR certified systems integrator, THG Automation, close by, THG invited him to bring parts and get hands-on with the company’s UR cobot-based MIG welding system.
“Within the four hours that I was there, we programmed 20 weld points,” says LeFevre. “I was actually practicing and sampling on the parts that I was going to make. It proved to me without a doubt: if I can program this in four hours and actually have my parts running, this can work in our shop. I wrote the purchase order that same night.”
In short order, Raymath installed four cobot welders from THG, handling MIG welding. Two robot operators now typically run two THG welding cells each. “The operators will typically run one robot, hit start, and while that one’s running, they’ll be loading the other one, and then will just jump back and forth,” says Raymaht’s robotics specialist, Nick Ogle. “Seeing all four cells run at the same time is pretty gratifying, knowing you’re pushing that much product out the door that much faster.”
The cobots handle hard-to-staff processes with half the number of operators, and weld at twice the speed, resulting in 4X productivity improvement.
Raymath also turned to UR for its machine tending automation needs, adding the UR cobot-based ProFeeder machining cells from ProCobots to its two 3- and 5-axis Hurco CNC machines.
“We get 24 hours of machining time where we’ve never been able to get that before,” LeFevre states. That lights-out processing gives Raymath more than a 600% productivity boost in machining, getting double the hours with the same number of workers. This is especially important when workers—especially for third shift work—are in short supply.
Raymath can now take on business the company never had the manpower and the ability to do before. “Now that we can meet all of our customers’ needs, they are less like to go to a competitor who might also gain future business. It’s extremely valuable,” says LeFevre.