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Cobots give gear manufacturer a competitive production edge
Published on 2020-05-14 16:00:00 UTC in Collaborative Robotics
Danish gear manufacturer, Fischer Gears, has boosted the competitiveness of its production process - especially on larger series – by installing two Omron TM robots. The collaborative robots (cobots) free experienced employees to focus on more value-adding tasks.
Fischer Gears (Randers Tandhjulsfabrik A/S) is a family-owned company based in Randers, Denmark. It has been producing gears and gearboxes for the industrial and maritime markets since 1920, and has become a leading supplier. The company’s state-of-the-art machinery uses the latest technologies and processes. Most recently, Fischer Gears invested in two Omron TM cobots, which are used to automate the feeding of metal parts into four CNC (computer numerical control) machines. This was previously a manual process.
Although the company already uses traditional industrial robots, its investment in cobots still represents a paradigm shift. Factory manager, Lars Bo Nielsen, explains: “It's not just another investment in robotics. Collaborative robots bring a whole new way of thinking because unlike traditional robots, the Omron TM robots don’t have to be hidden away behind a fence. And if this project is a success, these probably won't be the last cobots we will use in the production line.”
Boosting production efficiency
Fischer Gears produces their products with series sizes that can vary from one item to several hundred pieces. The investment in Omron’s cobots will enable the company to become much more competitive in the future with these larger orders.
The cobots will be part of a production cell consisting of four CNC machines, and will be moved between the machines as needed. “The robots can feed items in and out of the machines even after usual working hours, which allows us to make the most of the production line and increase efficiency, giving us a competitive edge on the larger series at the same time,” explains Lars Bo Nielsen.
In addition to reducing the production costs of the large series, the Omron cobots also help to free the company’s employees to carry out more value-adding production tasks. “The robots are an investment in a better working environment. Virtually all of our employees are skilled workers with a good education, and we can now use them for far more exciting tasks than the manual feeding of items,” the factory manager explains.