Motion Controls Robotics’ created the Robotic SUBTA system, a pre-engineered robotic system designed for PET blow-molded bottle handling. The system uses different robotic units depending on the type of machine that is being unloaded. The Robotic SUBTA system grabs and sets the bottles on a conveyor, standing up, acting as a takeaway unit. The system provides increased throughput due to high reliability and uptime and cycle times faster than most mold machine rates. The Robotic SUBTA system also requires a minimum of floor space, a high priced commodity in a manufacturing facility.
The Motion Controls Robotic SUBTA has received a positive reception from the employees because of the ease of use and nearly flawless performance of these robots. To ward off any concerns from employees about potential layoffs within the plant, the company presented the new system as an opportunity to ramp up its technology and that new business was waiting for the company if the technology was added.
The company contacted Motion Controls Robotics to ask them to help develop a solution that would automate its bottle take out process and alleviate its safety and ergonomic issues due to repetitive stress injuries. They also wanted to create a solution that would reduce scrap, which ultimately would help increase sales without having to produce more product than it did in the past.
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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 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.
It combines the automatic feeder with the automatically moving electric screwdriver to realize the complementary supply of screws and the locking, which greatly improves the production efficiency and saves manpower. Once the screwdriver is lifted after locking the screw, the automatic feeder will send the other screw to the Escape of the automatic feeder. The screwdriver head absorbs the screw and the robot can automatically move according to the coordinate point and tighten it. This is particularly suitable for multi-station workpieces of the same specification.
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.