productivity up and errors down thanks to collaborative robots

in robots @ work by Rethink Robotics

“Everything is about time. You’re lead timed, your speed to market, and that’s the leveling wind in our industry. Short run manufacturing means that you’re going to have a fairly high touch model. We were really looking to increase productivity and improve our delivery in our service and our quality, mainly from a standpoint of error-proofing, because there’s a number of things that have to be done 100% correctly,” explained Ron Kirscht, President of Donnelly Custom Manufacturing. “But, if that’s what your job is and you’re doing it as a person, it becomes a little mundane, and that’s when people can become inattentive.”

Baxter collaborative robots are on the job at Donnelly’s plant in Alexandria, MN, taking on those time consuming, repetitive tasks where there’s no room for errors. This includes removing parts from a conveyor belt and stacking each one on customized stacking devices. By automating these jobs with robotics, Donnelly employees are assigned to more valuable work.

Kirscht added, “Baxter has some qualities that he brings to Donnelly that creates excitement, innovation and enthusiasm, allowing people to come up with ideas in ways for utilizing Baxter. I think that the Baxter robot is a game changer in modern manufacturing, because it really creates an opportunity for people on the manufacturing floor to innovate. It spawns creativity.”

Watch the video above to see how Donnelly has deployed their Baxter collaborative robots. Industrial Technologist Chad Rhen will walk you through the process, which includes material handling from a conveyor belt to counting parts and then transferring the finished units into a box.

To learn more about other applications for which our Baxter and Sawyer collaborative robots are well-suited, click here. And then see how other customers are benefiting from cobots in the Rethink video gallery.


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