In comparison to traditional industrial robots, cobots are characterized by a much broader spectrum of potential applications. By gradually becoming familiar with the product, the user realizes that it is a multi-purpose machine. The ELITE cobot, distinguished by such features as Safety, Ease of use, Flexibility and Efficiency, is quickly becoming a leader in the industry and setting new standards on the international market.

01 Introduction

Gaotong Machinery, one of our current clients, has been operating in the industry for 25 years. This plant focuses on the production and processing of metal components for household air conditioning units, accessories for high-speed rail applications and components for medical equipment. This manufacturer has a great deal of experience and rich technological facilities, respected by its customers for the accuracy and high quality of the machining it performs. In recent years, the plant has been diligently observing the latest trends and striving to automate production. In 2002, the plant imported the first CNC AMADA die cutter from Japan, and since that time, has been increasing investment in automation equipment. As robotics technology matured for real-world applications, the plant introduced 6-axis industrial robots for welding equipment and implemented an automation solution with 6-axis manipulator robots in 2014.

02 Problematic issues

Due to customers’ growing needs for personalization, the Gaotong Machinery production line is facing challenges related to small-series production and a diverse product assortment. However, in the production process, traditional industrial 6-axis robots often slow the rate of production due to the long cycle of tools. For this reason, the plant must maintain the post of operator and account for flexibility of manual servicing. Introducing such a solution makes it possible for the plant to fill orders by changing the configuration of the existing production line with minimal frequency.

03 Solution

The client applied a solution with the ELITE EC66 cobot, which has a lifting capacity of 6 kg, in order to replace an application with traditional 6-axis industrial robots, which improved production efficiency substantially. ELITE cobots were also compared with traditional 6-axis industrial robots, and it turned out that, when all was said and done, cobots are not much slower than traditional industrial robots and are sometimes even significantly faster when it comes to processing of certain elements. Moreover, due to the ease of their assembly/disassembly and programming, it is possible to freely switch cobots between various machines and production lines, enabling their introduction into operation within a short period of time. In a world where time is money, ELITE Robots cobots have gained our clients’ approval. Perceiving the convenience of applying ELITE cobots, the client additionally introduced them in the area of threading, thereby automating another task. Even when 121 holes were present in a design, ELITE cobots performed the task quickly and without errors, significantly reducing the scrap rate. The client combined traditional industrial robots with ELITE cobots in order to create an alternative production line system. In the future, ELITE cobots will be applied to transport individual parts weighing up to 15 kg, and traditional industrial robots will be used for loading, unloading and manipulation of larger and heavier objects. The rapid development of the production industry promotes requirements posed by customers, making it necessary to create cobots capable of continuous collaboration with workers. Along with an expert approach to the industries it supports, ELITE Robots creates a sustainable network of benefits at its clients’ plants.