Robotic System to Increase Production Efficiency and Capacity

Robotics, automation and control play an important role in manufacturing in different industries. The art of robotics and intelligent control has been transferred into the automated systems development. The most important field in controls and robotics is the working of a system with maximum accuracy and minimum errors and if an error occurs the system should be capable of taking a significant action against it.

In manufacturing lines are usually a number of inter related processes which should coherently work efficiently to result in an efficient production. However if there is bottleneck at any stage the whole production line should run at a lower efficiency and capacity. Improvement may need to be made using lean manufacturing regarding some of the manufacturing aspects but these are small incremental changes and do not play any vital role to enhance the production efficiency and capacity.

This article is describing a industry collaborative project to investigate a manufacturing production line and identify the bottlenecks. The goal was to design and develop a robotic or automated system to overcome the bottleneck process problems in order to increase the manufacturing efficiency to reach the desired production capacity. Base on the investigation carried out by the company involved, available automated systems do not cover the whole production line and the custom made are extremely expensive. Therefore the idea was to come up with a solution which was within a reasonable budget for the company.

An automated transportation and manipulation flexible robotic system for handling, banding, snapping, and sorting of general purpose labels would improve substantially overall production efficiency of the concerned company where a large scale investment in new equipment could not be made. The goal was to almost double the production by automating a serious bottleneck in the manufacturing line. A typical range of different size and shape labels to demonstrate the handling complexity of the required robotic system.

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