Arie van Trierum, Operational Director and Co-Owner: "As a Dutch supplier, we can’t avoid the fact we’re working in an international market today. For instance we increasingly have to engage in an international competitive struggle, especially for the serial work. We can only win that struggle by keeping our company up-to-date, by efficiently utilizing our machine capacity and recruiting good technical personnel.
But like many other companies in our industry, the search for technical personnel is also difficult for us. Fortunately we already have a highly motivated and experienced team. We also try to use the craftsmen we employ as efficiently as possible. Why should we let an experienced operator load and unload a machine, while there’s a robot for doing this! It makes more sense to let him set up another machine, while the robot does the physical, repetitive work. And thus we started the search for a good automation system.
We first met RoboJob at the Techni-Show. Of course they’re not the only provider in the market, and that’s why we started a market study into suppliers of automation solutions.
Eventually we opted for RoboJob, and for two reasons: first and foremost the roots of RoboJob lie in the machining industry. Because of this you quickly see eye-to-eye and understand each other very easily. We noticed that people at RoboJob are able to think in terms of solutions, and with that the necessary flexibility is also required. The second reason concerns the product itself: both the Turn-Assist and the Mill-Assist can be set up and modified very quickly. Furthermore, a wide range of components can be automated with it, and there are also further expanded capabilities and functionalities, such as the vacuum gripper or the axes extension. Also important is that one works with a light screen, and not a fence. We use our robot mainly at night, and that way we can still easily use the machine for piecework during the day.
Before we made our final decision, we also went to visit RoboJob in Belgium. We took four of our operators with us then, as they are finally the people who need to work with it. During our visit, these people were given the freedom to get to know the product, and even to immediately to try to set up the robot. That was so easy, that our operators were also convinced that this was a good system. Their response was included in the purchase decision, and that led to our colleagues in production also being behind this purchase. And now we’ve got two additional colleagues: a Turn-Assist in the turning department, and a Mill-Assist in the milling department!
With these two robots we now have an extra team, as it were. At Van Trierum we only work with a day shift, and now we can use our robot after working hours or on the free day of an employee. Consequently we get more capacity out of the machine because of course it’s there night and day. And because we receive a status notification via SMS or e-mail, we’re still able to keep an eye on things.
Our robots have now been operating for a good half year. Just before the summer both robots were installed on existing machines that had already been here for some time. These machines did not have a robot interface. But RoboJob solved that neatly for us: they themselves involved a third party, so that the correct signals could still be obtained from the machines. The exact location of our installations was also properly thought about, whereby the robot would not be in the way of the daily work.
Since then, both the installation, the training as well as the daily use have been running superbly. Now and again we have a question, but then we also get a swift response and we’re soon helped on our way again. What we especially appreciate at RoboJob, is that they’re open to feedback. So every now and then we make a suggestion about small things that could be done even better. RoboJob don’t only listen to these, they also do something about it: we have already experienced a number of times that our suggestions were taken up to improve the product.”