Target Cell & Metrics
LEAN ROBOTICS BASICS
Lean Robotics is a methodology that can be used to simplify your robotic cell deployment. Going through the Prepare, Design, Integrate and Operate Phases, this methodology is a systematic way to complete a robotic cell deployment cycle in a timely and efficient manner. In this lesson, David Rochette, a technical trainer at Robotiq, explains multiple reasons to automate, different key performance indicators (KPIs) and how to track them, and how to identify the right cell to automate via the Value vs. Complexity graph.
There are various reasons to integrate a robot in your CNC machining shop. However, there’s usually a main KPI that you want to work on. In the next video, Mathieu Bélanger-Barrette, Application Expert at Robotiq, presents the main KPIs for CNC machine tending applications.
As mentioned in the previous video, certain shops need more capacity to increase their profit, and some need more time to work on projects or increase sales. Whatever your main KPI is, a robot can certainly help you. The following case studies all show different reasons to automate a process, and thus different KPIs. The processes presented also address the automation of different types of machines.
APN needed to track their parts, as requested by their customers in the aerospace industry. They had to prevent the parts from being damaged after the machining process. Although they had increased their productivity, the benefited most from letting the machines run lights out without worrying about damaging the parts or losing track of when each part was done.
APN’s first cell was one of their turning machines. Once the integration was complete, they went ahead and automated six more turning machines.
Whippany wanted to increase their capacity and had to decide between adding another machine or a robot. They realized they couldn’t increase the capacity much more by simply adding a machine since they needed an employee to tend it. By using a robot, however, they could run several machines at a time and even run the cell lights out.
Whippany targeted a vertical mill for a minor process on the parts. Since there wasn’t much work to do on the part, the operator had to come back to the machine and change parts every few minutes or so. No time for other value-added tasks. Now that the process is automated, the operators can finally work on other productive tasks. Furthermore, Whippany can re-purpose the robot on different machines. This means they can move the robot where they need the job to be done.
Walt Machine is a small shop in the middle of Mississippi. Although in the context of labor shortage, the shop doesn’t have enough business to hire a full-time machinist. The robot was thus a great option. In fact, their main goal was to increase uptime so could produce more parts.
Eventually, they got more purchase orders and got to automate more machines.
They decided to automate their vertical mill first and test which type of hardware and organization they needed to automate the process. Since they integrated their first robot with success, they went on and designed an enhanced version of their cell in which they were able to tend several machines at the same time.