Manufacturing Automation: The rise of SME-friendly robotics
Advances in collaborative robotics are allowing manufacturers to deploy automation in finely targeted areas. This incremental approach is allowing SMEs to get into the game
A robotic arm that helps an operator polish speaker cabinets might not sound like much. What’s interesting is that this application typifies a trend that is driving a huge expansion of robotic deployment, particularly by SMEs.
The need for a finishing robot arose when Mississauga-based audio manufacturer Paradigm Electronics, which employs 250 across Canada, introduced a lacquer-finished speaker cabinet that requires multiple layers of finish and much sanding and polishing.
Facing a shortage of skilled workers, the company brought in Barrie-based integrator Advanced Motion & Controls to implement a Universal Robotics (UR) collaborative robot to work side-by-side with a skilled operator. The project, implemented in a little over a month, increased the throughput of the cell by 50 per cent and achieved a 14-month ROI.
Learn more on Manufacturing Automation, one of Canadian Manufacturing‘s sister publications.