Unika makes Landmark decision to bring quality levels to new heights
Published on 25 August, 2021 in Flexible Manufacturing
OMRON TM cobots with integrated vision system eliminate human error, increase production efficiency.
Unika Danmark AS is a leading producer of high-precision tooling and injection mouldings for the plastics industry. With help from three OMRON TM cobots, the company has raised its quality levels, reduced product returns, enhanced worker engagement, improved throughput and made impressive cost savings.
High-precision plastics is an exacting science, with toolings and mouldings measured in microns, for end products that can enhance the quality of life of global customers. That’s certainly the case for Unika, which recently signed a partnership with Grundfos, the world-leading specialist in advanced pump solutions. For Grundfos and other Unika customers, quality is of the utmost importance, which is one of the reasons Henrik Schwensen, Plast Production Manager, opted for an OMRON cobot solution.
The need for a flexible solution
“Our work involves a wide range of different end-products,” says Henrik, “produced using the toolings we create in-house. The products can range in size, weight, and shape, so we needed a flexible system that would fit in with our changeable production line. Specifically, a unit that would enhance our quality control at end-of-line.”
Prior to the OMRON installation, quality control was purely human, with operators responsible for checking each individual piece, ensuring that they were true to form. “This is repetitive work of course,” explains Henrik, “and as with anything monotonous, people’s attention can waver, concentration can lapse, and that’s when errors creep in.”
Improved output through automation
So, the Unika team looked to automation as a solution, specifically, automation supported by machine vision. “We have around 40 modules on our production line, each of which uses some form of automation, so we know that this is an effective way to improve our output,” says Henrik. “We looked at all sorts of robots that might help, comparing the options from different suppliers of industrial, mobile and cobot units. In the end, the clear winner was OMRON TM.”
Working with local OMRON system integrator KS Service, the OMRON TM with integrated vision system was eventually selected by Unika, and brought into service soon afterwards. “We now have three OMRON TM cobots at work in the plant, performing a variety of tasks alongside our operations team,” says Henrik. Unika reported some of the key benefits of the OMRON cobot approach to be flexibility and mobility – it doesn’t need a dedicated space, or danger-zone ring-fencing, or the other expenses associated with a fixed industrial installation. “This makes it ideal in our busy production space, where our 75 employees are constantly at work, moving between lines and working in harmony with the OMRON cobots.”