One of the biggest, perhaps the biggest challenge for business today here in the UK and probably most developed economies is the migration of manufacturing industries to the “low-cost” economies. True this may be but what you gonna do about it?
Some think that “go with the flow” is the solution, join them, become part of the migration. Now to be honest here, when I look at natures response, which I do take a lead from occasionally, natures response to shortage of resources; it nearly always comes up with migration as a solution. But are we just to follow natures way? Are we not better equipped? Do we not have greater control over our immediate environment?
So what’s the alternative?
Meet the challenge head on!
Increasingly application of intelligent machines will lead to efficiencies, increases in productivity, and in time lower the cost of production.
FSB GmbH, manufacture of hardware such as door handles, locks and fittings has taken this route. integrated automated manufacturing and handling on a computerised conveyor system, optical recognition, positioning, notching, polishing, lacquering, and palletisation… Sounds like a factory from the future (1984 even). The system can operate on a 3-shift pattern (no shock that really, it’s a machine) and can take flexible programmes determined by specific customer driven production needs.
In the metal fabrication area centerless grinding (whats that?) and deep hole drilling have been introduced and performed by robotic automation and handling processes. Almost 3000 different components can be made by the robots and no mistakes! The robots were retro-fitted so a really economically sound and efficient way of robotising the process, keeping the company running and competitive.
Here in the UK Sapa Components UK Ltd have installed SHL robotic systems for grinding and polishing of aluminium parts, this time for the automotive industry sector. These components are extruded, pressed, formed and present a challenge at the finishing stage so that exacting standards are met every time. So Sapa deliver high volume, high quality, and low-cost solutions.
What ever the industry you’re in, whatever the application or production processes the objective remains the same.
Compete with the low-cost producers.
The answer can only be found by the clever application design, innovation and creative thinking. Integrated systems based on and around robots can and do deliver.