About the Author: Robert Lamb spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster. He’s currently a senior writer at HowStuffWorks and has co-hosted the science podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind since its inception in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Bonnie, discussing dinosaurs with his son Bastian and crafting the occasional work of fiction.
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Compared to a different take out system, six axis robots give us an option to even pack the bottle or bring it to a leak detection machine. Now we have dwell time at the robot,” said the plant manager. “Six axis robots give us the ability to look at secondary operations and an opportunity to potentially add some value to our customer’s process. We can present it to our customers as a benefit. Efficiency at the facility has been greatly affected by the addition of Robotic SUBTA units.
A national manufacturer of stock and custom plastic packaging solutions for the food packaging, chemical, automotive and household industries faced the challenge of improving its safety and ergonomics associated with its manual system of unloading its Nissei Bottle Making Machine at its manufacturing facility. The company also wanted to find a solution to reduce scrap and increase productivity.
We are proud to say that we have not lost a single employee after adding the new robotic systems. Instead of layoffs, employees have been allocated to other parts of the facility,” said the plant manager. “This success has created new business which in turn creates secure jobs. Overall, the addition of the Robotic SUBTA systems has created a more positive and productive environment within our facility. The plastics manufacturer rates the Robotic SUBTA as a great improvement that has been very reliable and nearly flawless in operation.
Everything in the plant runs much more smoothly. More bottles are being produced, but the pace seems slower since there was a reduction in complexity in the system,” said the plant manager. “We have seen a reduction in the commotion and activity since employees can now work at a constant pace and succeed without as much physical effort. We also have a greater chance to understand the bottlenecks in the manufacturing process. We are reviewing to see where we can make an economic justification for adding automation,” said the plant manager. “We chose the ones that are simple to execute first that run one mold all day, as well as the systems with the highest stress strain or ergonomic safety issues. We are looking for future automation as soon as we can.
The Robotic SUBTA systems have also created unexpected improvements in the manufacturing process. The company noted a net reduction of 1/2 percent of scrap, adding 500,000 bottles per year to its output simply by virtue of not dropping the bottles. Since fewer products need to be reground, the company also saves money considering the cost to run the regrind machines has gone up greatly as the cost of oil increases. In addition, this reliable process has cut the employee bending movements by 50 percent.