The key to making automation work is partnering with someone that will just be honest with you.
This time I wanted to give a bit of a glimpse into the earlier steps of a new robotic system coming together. If you have never gone through the process it can seem a bit of a challenge. I thought it might be helpful to see some of the earlier steps and I will follow up with it later once it is complete as well.
Just about every market can find benefit in process automation. From labor reduction to improving the total time in production there is value in the automation. For some it is the need to improve part to part consistency or just the basic improvement in the over all finished product.
Often when I am asked about polishing I find that there are some basics that folks are not aware of. As with all things every one will have their own way and I am no different. Some people will spend 5 years polishing pipe and find a way that works great due to the volume and time they invest. I tend to touch all manner of items so my experience tends to be more varied. I do not offer this as the carved in stone rule but rather the results of that varied experience over many years and parts.
I often get the question of what can you automate. So I will give a few examples here of things you can as well as a few basic tips.
Here we will look at an application where fabricated sinks, counters and other trim parts were finished with a robotic cell. The parts were long term items the company produces where a reduction in labor and an increase in volume were needed. Both were had with a single robot with a tool changer. The ability to grind the weld then shift to blending the finish are one of the reasons robots work so well. It is not a matter of one aspect getting addressed but rather the entire process.
When you start to look into automation be it a finishing application, welding or any number of other processes labor tends to be at the top of the list. There are some things you should keep in mind as you go through the process.