Canadian Manufacturing

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

May 19, 2021  by Manufacturing Automation

An OnRobot gripper on a Universal Robots cobot. Photo: Universal Robots

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.

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