“Because of a shortage of technical professionals, we needed an automation system that is quick to build and is also suitable for smaller series. Finding good employees is a huge challenge, which is why we regularly bring in students with an apprenticeship contract and we start on automation. We especially want to use the expertise of our personnel for setting up and optimizing production units rather than for laying on larger series" says business manager Arie van Trierum.
The quest led Van Trierum to RoboJob. “It was already an advantage that RoboJob’s roots lie in the machining industry, whereby they already recognize issues during automation from their own situation. Before we made a decision we visited RoboJob with four of our operators, who would have to work with the systems on a daily basis. They were given all the freedom to get to know the product, and even to immediately try and set up the robot themselves. That went so easily that our operators were 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.”
Relieving other machines
For the milling machine, van Trierum chose for the Mill-Assist Essential. “That robot is very important because our existing machine (a Challenger Microcut VMC-1300) could already produce significantly more over the past months than previously. Additionally, with options like the vacuum gripper you can also easily automate products with different shapes."
The turning machine was equipped with the Turn-Assist Essential. “We have experienced this to be of significant added value for our Nakamura WT-150. Because of it, we are able to provide larger series of flange work on this machine, thus relieving other machines in their occupancy capacity. We have had the Turn-Assist constructed with an axes extension whereby series with axes up to 40 mm round and approximately 400 mm long are automatically loaded and unloaded.”
The cooperation between van Trierum and RoboJob went very well. “There was plenty of room for consultation and personal input," says Arie van Trierum. “Furthermore, it worked well with the operators in the positioning and installation of the robots. Even after the installation we received regular support with the questions we had. The supplier also put in a lot of effort in order to fulfil our wishes for appropriate product optimization.”
Thanks to these two robots, the company now has an additional shift as it were. “We only work with a day shift, and now we can also use our robot after working hours or on the free day of an employee. Consequently we get a lot more capacity out of the machine. Furthermore we receive a status alert via SMS or e-mail, whereby we’re able to keep a permanent eye on things.”