That is why Donk looked for methods to optimize the current production and to automate/robotize where possible. Using proven methods such as Lean manufacturing, production facets can be identified that yield great returns on automation.
Cobot ideal solution
The current robots that work at Aluminum Donk are large, heavy and difficult to program. Expansion of this robot park is not desirable, just because of the amount of space these robots occupy.
For that reason, other possibilities were looked at and a cobot turned out to be the ideal solution. Because there is no experience within Aluminum Donk with cobots, we have looked for a partner who manages all facets for a good implementation. Olmia Robotics meets this requirement.
Communication between CNC machine and cobot
Our first cobot project involved a loading and unloading system for a CNC milling machine. This machine is of an older type and not prepared for the use of a robot/cobot. Because this machine runs the same product for much of the year, this was the most suitable candidate to start our automation project. The repetitive work of loading the machine now frees the operator. This operator can now be used for, among other things, control work and production optimization, which enhances our overall quality.
Most of the work in the implementation phase was to get a good communication link between the CNC machine and the cobot.
There was intensive cooperation between Olmia Robotics and our machine supplier to get this done. This collaboration enabled us to tap the right signals to allow machine and cobot to communicate with each other. The different possibilities of the Olmia Robotics cobot to communicate with other applications was a big advantage. We were not dependent on which signals the cobot needs, but could use the signals that the CNC machine can deliver and receive.
Cobot easy to program
The programming of the cobot is simple and a 1 day training was sufficient to independently program the cobot. In order to ensure that Aluminum Donk could start producing directly with the help of the cobot, Olmia Robotics supplied the cobot entirely working, including a working program.
Because we were given a fully operational system, we were able to concentrate on production optimization. Here too, we could always fall back on Olmia Robotics if we did not manage it ourselves. The result is an optimally functioning system that delivers consistent quality and quantity.
We are already thinking about our next cobot project! Of course we want to work together again with Olmia Robotics.
Assistant production manager Donk Industries