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.
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.
The Robotic SUBTA system is also flexible and precise since it handles any mold configuration (single or double row) and provides quick changeover using quick change tooling. This programmable built-in operator pendant has stored recipes and menu selection for patterns and allows for on-the-fly adjustments. The 20-part recipe keeps part data such as part description pick, place locations, and vacuum pattern.
The plastics manufacturer also considered a vendor with a fixed automation system that included a simple slide but decided that system wasnâ€™t reliable enough for its needs. In addition, every time the mold tooling changed, the slide also had to be changed to accommodate the new product. This created a higher cost to change tooling that was not acceptable. The facility included one machine with a manufacturers fixed automation system, but they wanted to find a more flexible and reliable solution.