Automation made easy: How colleague robot supports Schwilk Automatendrehteile GmbH in terms of productivity and employee flexibility
The fast, thorough cleaning of sawn parts and their location-appropriate storage: This work has recently been taken over by an employee of a different kind at Schwilk Automatendrehteile: a robot. The manufacturer of automatic turned parts from the Swabian town of Heroldstatt has opted for the MEBArobots solution in the course of further automation, matching its MEBAmat 330 band saw machine. Managing Director Jochen Schwilk comments on the decision as:
"Our company stands for the highest precision and quality. Of course, we have to work economically at the same time. In addition to our state-of-the-day machine park, automation helps us to do this. MEBArobots is an important contribution to even more productivity."
Using robots sensibly and compensating for a shortage of skilled workers
Good professionals are hard to find. Robots offer the opportunity to free professionals from monotonous and physically stressful work such as loading and unloading, cleaning, or downstream tasks and instead entrusting them with other tasks. Schwilk explains: "The robot offers us significantly more flexibility in the resource planning of employees. So far, our specialist has taken care of the tedious cleaning after sawing. That is, he has freed the sawn parts from chips and removed the stubborn cooling lubricant. These steps are important because they lay the foundation for high-quality components. After cleaning, he had to make the less ergonomic, positional storage of these parts in a grid box or on special pallets. All this is now done by MEBArobots. Our employee is relieved, temporally and physically. And it has been given a larger, more interesting sphere of activity." The specialist at Schwilk has the operation and process monitoring of an entire warehouse and production hall with a total of 3 MEBA metal band saws under his care. Thanks to the robot, he can now also prepare other orders and has expanded his range of work in the material warehouse and in incoming goods.
Consistently high level of work
In the past, Schwilk's cleaning process repeatedly led to the plant stoppage of the production plant. Since the robot takes over the tasks, this is almost completely a thing of the past. MEBArobots is in use around the clock and delivers the same high level of work. Often overnight, the new "colleague" has worked off the sawn parts unmanned, so that in the morning can be continued seamlessly. Should a problem occur at night, such as breaking a band saw blade, the robot system reliably ensures that the system stops and that no consequential damage to the saw or the robot itself occurs.
Customer-specific system solution: It is not the robot that says what it can do, but the customer determines what he needs
MEBArobots contains know-how specifically geared to sawing applications. Not just any robot is connected to a saw. With the robot manufacturer Nachi and MEBA, 2 professionals cooperate to ensure that robots and saws communicate smoothly with each other. The user receives a customer-specific system solution from a single source, an integrated solution.
At Schwilk, too, it was jointly determined in advance what exactly the robot should take over and how it can support the further processing of the parts. Managing Director Schwilk himself has contributed ideas for the special pallets on which the sawn parts are stored by the robot. The pallets have an inclined position so that the parts do not slip when they are transported to the next processing step. Arriving at the lathe for further processing, the existing automation system can grab the parts directly, cleanly from the pallet. They do not have to be implemented manually. The entire editing process continues to run smoothly.
"We have already developed special sawing solutions for our requirements with MEBA in the past," says Schwilk. "We also worked together very constructively in the planning phase of the robot and my requirements were put into practice."
Benefit-oriented work for every company size, even with robots
MEBA is committed to offering benefit-oriented sawing solutions. Also in the development of the topic of robots, the premise for the band saw professional was to find a simple entry into automation for every company size. And indeed, the robot at Schwilk has little to do with the large industrial robots known from the automotive industry. MEBArobots is a space-saving and pragmatic solution that gives Schwilk more flexibility for production and personnel planning guarantees a consistent level of work and increases productivity.
Schwilk confirms: "The connection between the MEBAmat 330 straight-cut machine and robot has increased productivity in our production." The time to insert the parts into the machines and the automatic processes lead to significant time-saving in the company. "The integration and operation of MEBArobots n combination with the saw are very simple and almost intuitively feasible," Schwilk continues. "We can also apply the system flexibly and quickly change different dimensions of the parts via the MEBArobots system – a great advantage for our production."
The specialist for automatic turned parts also has particularly good access to the band saw. At Schwilk, the robot is not centrally located in front of the machine output, but offset. The doors of the saw can thus be opened at any time. The robot folds up in this case instead of being in the way. And if MEBArobots are not needed at all, the straight-cut machine can easily be used again without robots. The robot can easily be removed with a few steps and about 10 minutes of light work.