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Fastening manufacturer implements robotic automated inspection

Posted on 16 Dec 2021 and read 1040 times
Fastening manufacturer implements robotic automated inspectionStanley Engineered Fastening has successfully introduced robotic quality inspection using cobots at its Warrington-based facility. Supplied by Universal Robots, the 15 UR3e cobots act as key components in brand new cells for manufacturing Breakstem rivets.

The cells, which have reduced production costs by about 10% and shortened lead times by up to 70%, are producing about 350 million fasteners per annum from across the company’s product range. They fully integrate four previously independent processes, boosting productivity and improving conditions for machine operators by eliminating a significant amount of manual handling.

Within the manufacturing process a UR3e cobot randomly selects a component for batch sampling and performs a pre-programmed quality inspection. This involves degreasing, drying, deburring and feature inspection via a digital micrometer. The cobot then performs an automated destructive test by placing the part in a ‘Stanley Smart Gun’ to record the break load of the component.

Explaining his reasons for automating quality inspection on the production line, Vitalij Rodnov, an ‘advanced manufacturing engineer’ at Stanley Engineered Fastening, said: “We needed to increase throughput and productivity in order to meet demand throughout our fastener product range. Freeing up our machine operators from this repetitive inspection task allows them to add more value elsewhere in the process, delivering better profitability and shorter lead times.”

Mark Gray, country manager, UK and Ireland, at Universal Robots, said: “Stanley Engineered Fastening is a great example of a company smartly using collaborative automation to make its business more successful and resilient. Our cobots are helping transform so many organisations whose potential would otherwise be constrained by labour shortages, limited production space or rising production costs.”