To tackle the challenges, Tsung Shih decides to use cobots, which are agile, light, safe and easily deployed, to fill the gap of human resources and optimize production efficacy. Moreover, the cobots can perform mundane, repetitive, and even riskier tasks, creating a safer and more comfortable workplace for the operators and attracting more younger people to join the company.
Tsung Shih has deployed two UR5 cobots to perform pick-and-place in packaging and label printing. The cobots take up fewer resources in the factory compared with industrial robots as they do not need designated spaces. After introducing cobots, Tsung Shih’s productivity has increased by 25%, while 20% of human resources have been freed up to handle tasks that require more professional skills.
Based on a thorough risk assessment, Tsung Shih deems that there was no need to build extra safety fences around the cobots. Also, since UR cobots do not take up large space, operators can perform feeding closely around the cobots. Thus, Tsung Shih utilizes the space in the factory to the utmost and eliminates the need to shut down industrial robots to perform feeding. On the other hand, UR cobots, unlike industrial robots, which require complex programming and configuration, have an intuitive system that allows quick setup. With the help of 3D graphical user interface on the cobot’s teach pendant, one can set up the desired movements and path for a cobot in no time after placing the cobot arm in the desired location.
Cobots can handle different tasks based on different manufacturing needs. For instance, one of Tsung Shih’s UR5 cobots needs to handle tasks in two different product lines, making quick transitioning a must. In fact, it only takes 5 to 10 minutes to uninstall a cobot from the packaging product line, reinstall it to the label printing one, and start its operation. As market needs continue to diversify, a lot of manufacturers will likely struggle to meet market needs in a timely manner. Tsung Shih is a good example of leveraging UR cobots to their production efficiency. During Tsung Shih’s transition to ODM, UR cobots freed up workers and resources for new product R&D and design, accelerating progress towards Tsung Shih’s goal of building its own brand.
When Tsung Shih first implemented cobots, they only needed one day of staff training to introduce their product line operators to cobot operation know-how. Today, the operators can operate the UR cobots by themselves, handling tasks such as temporarily shutting down the cobots, fine-tuning, and transitioning cobots to different production missions. Even when a minor malfunction occurs, the operators can fix it without having to wait for distributors or engineers to come and help. By doing so, cobots can be back into operation faster, and the staff now have a new set of skills, making them feel that they are more valuable to the company.