Posted By: ASK Posted date: September 8, 2017 In:Bottom Line IT No Comments
Mike and Erik discuss a recent announcement by a very forward thinking and successful Michigan based company, Hirotec America. The company recently announced their efforts to utilize lights out manufacturing to increase efficiency, reduce waste, and improve their operational excellence through a partnership with OTTO Motors.
Hirotec’s new move shows how technology can transform manufacturing. Hirotec has partnered with OTTO Motors to automate Hirotec’s spare part production. This will be done using OTTO’s 1500 self-driving vehicle. The OTTO 1500 is used for automated material movement, while a Yaskawa Motoman dual-arm manipulator has been integrated onto the OTTO to pick up and dip parts in black oxide for corrosion protection. By using the OTTO 1500 with the integrated Yaskawa Motoman manipulator, we have the technology to replicate human labor.
Before this partnership, the process was completed manually by whoever happened to be available from the shop floor – there was not a set operator on the line. As such, parts were prone to error and were often required to re-enter the process, significantly impacting productivity and throughput. The automation will allow for more consistent parts and operators can focus on more valuable, higher skilled tasks.
Mike states that in his experience “manufacturing companies that are quick to adapt to technology are the ones that thrive and succeed.” Technology makes manufacturing companies more efficient if implemented correctly and intelligently. If companies continue to do what they have always done, they will get the same results they always have. Regardless of their success, they will soon be passed by companies that use technology.