Alumec Rubí SL, an aluminum mechanization company contacted us with the aim of automatizing part of their productive system. The goal was to improve the productivity, efficiency, control and quality of different processes.
Category: Industry 4.0, Engeenering development, Procees reengineering
For Alumec optimizing and accelerating many of their chain processes is a necessity. Bottlenecks present in these processes needed to be found and fixed in order to achieve benefits maximization.
In this case the process to optimize could be separated in three different stages applied on an aluminum piece: deburring, brushing and blowing. This process used to involve up to 4 workers and since it requires some repetitive and manual tasks many human errors resulted in the pieces being discarded due to not being up to the quality standards of the company.
Proposing a solution
We, The Forest Next studied the project and came up with the proposal of a solution involving the implementation of cooperative robots. The fact of using cooperative robots results in the implementation of a cutting-edge technology which is also safe, flexible and fits all the requirements amazingly. Moreover, this is a scalable solution that will let us develop more functionalities and automatize other parts of the process in the future.
Developing the strategy
The developing process of this solution can be split up in different phases. The first one consisted in the study of the different pieces and the approach on how the robot should be implemented. Once this was done, we proceeded with the engineering and design of a support table. This table is completely automatized by using an electropneumatic system, this makes the positioning and subjection of the piece very easy for the worker. The table has a built-in button system that allows the worker to trigger all the control necessary control actions. Finally, we proceeded to the programming of the robot, the code for all the phases (deburring, brushing and blowing) was made and optimized using sensors to make it as efficient and safe as possible.
Implementation and result
Once we finished the study and development, we started to take the necessary tests before implementation. Test were made to improve and detect possible errors in timings, safeness, automatic detection of pieces, quality levels and integration in the workplace. After some minor adjustments we implemented the cooperative robots and formed the workers. We achieved more than satisfactory results. The initial problems were fixed and the whole line has experienced a notable improvement as well as the final result. Workload has been reduced for the workers, productivity has raised and the error margins has been minimized.