When entering Protacon’s stand C-112 at the Smart Factory trade fair, you will practically step into a mini-sized production cell with a genuine robot serving you. The purpose is to concretely show to trade fair visitors how intelligence can be brought to factory and production environments for improving operations – to design learning and intelligent factories, as implied by the name of the event now organised for the first time in Jyväskylä.
At the stand, you will meet Omron’s LD mobile robot that is capable of transferring packages in an intelligent way between two conveyor lines, for example. Thanks to a laser scanner, the robot moves safely and plans an optimised route map taking into account both the environment and people. Unlike traditional fixed solutions, a mobile robot also enables flexible changes in production lines. Such independently acting robots, working and moving with people, are not yet frequently seen in many Finnish production plants.
To allow humans to concentrate on smarter and more productive work
It is not, however, robots alone that do the magic trick to enhance efficiency of production. To develop production, the overall picture must be taken into account. This is still something where humans work best.
The mini-sized production cell displayed at the trade fair is a very small package, but when there is enough intelligence, the size is not an obstacle to productive work. The conveyor system designed by Protacon for the trade fair comprises a state-of-the-art solution including distribution of product boxes to customers, serving up the content of these boxes to trade fair visitors, returning the boxes for topping up and checking the consumption using machine vision. For comparison, the production cell also has manual steps, such as the top-up of product boxes and the transfer of the boxes by an operator who carries them to the customer distribution conveyor.
– To increase production efficiency, it is essential to enable flexibility, reduce production costs and perform routine tasks smartly and with integrated systems – why not with a mobile robot, says Teemu Väyrynen from Protacon.
Protacon offers comprehensive services for production development and optimisation, as well as maintenance support and assistance in customers’ production modification needs.
– Since our total offering is available under the same roof, introduction of a mobile robot, for instance, ultimately turns out to be a relatively light and flexible project. Basically anything can be built upon it. For example, a robot can transfer assembly parts from one place to another without getting bored or tired, or take samples in a sterile environment where humans are not allowed to enter. Work cycles become faster and employees can concentrate on essential tasks, Väyrynen explains.
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