Cornish diecasting company increases productivity thanks to collaborative robot

The UR cobot

Daften Diecasting, located alongside the Camel Estuary in Wadebridge, Cornwall has recently installed a collaborative robot cell to assist in a sanding application.

A collaborative robot, otherwise known as a ‘cobot’ is a robot that is capable of learning multiple tasks to assist human beings. In this case the Universal Robots cobot has become a ‘helping hand’ as referred to by company director Mark Weedon.

Daften Diecasting were successful in receiving the Plymouth University Acceleration Through Innovation (ATI) grant. The ATI is a three-year project designed to reach out to the wider business community and help bring forward innovations that are new to the firm, and drive up growth and productivity across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Cobots are typically introduced into business to solves problems, with Daften Diecasting these issues were related to health and safety, specifically hand-arm vibration syndrome; caused by the strain of their repetitive sanding processes. This labour-intensive task has now been improved thanks to the cobot and the operator is now working on the completion process.

The cobot cell utilised the technology of the Dynabrade robotic sander a plug and play solution that mounts onto the end of the cobot arm.

Not only has the introduction of the collaborative robot improved the working environment for the operator, it has also increased overall productivity from the faster cycle time now achieved. The consistency of the process has also greatly improved and sanding discs are less frequently replaced.

Sam Weedon, Daften

What’s most impressive in this case is the installation of this system, this cell was programmed by Sam Weedon of Daften (pictured) with only 90 minutes of online training from the Universal Robots online academy.

With traditional industrial robots the installation and programming time can take months. Not all collaborative robot applications require safety guarding, it’s very much down to the process, tooling and speed. However, with this application Daften decided to guard it so that they could achieve the maximum cycle time. At this speed the robot would’ve been operating too fast to be in a collaborative unguarded environment (over 250mm/s). Also, by guarding the robot in this case it also protects it from other machinery and equipment.

To find out how you can address your labour needs, increase your productivity and become more competitive, contact us as a distributor for Universal Robots;
phone: 07716 228159.