Case Study: How a tier one automotive supplier manages two production lines with one operator
“Today’s automation revolves around keeping head count down and keeping cost low in production environments.”
That’s what Jerry Reamer, the director of the Product Engineering department at KYB Americas, replied when we asked him about the biggest challenges they face as a manufacturing company. KYB started off with a manual and timely process with a big margin of human error and ended up with four Universal Robots and four Pickit 3D vision systems.
Watch the video below or read on to find out how KYB went from 1 operator for 1 application to 1 operator for 2 production lines!
It’s no secret that labor shortage and strong competition are big issues in manufacturing nowadays, and automation is one of the key strategies to tackle those issues.
KYB automated one of their processes a year and a half ago. Before, their operator Vicki took a bag filled with parts and fed a machine by putting every part in a tray in a certain position and orientation. This process took a lot of time and was prone to human error. KYB looked into several automation solutions such as bowl feeders, multiple conveyors, feeding systems and even a 2D vision camera, but ended up choosing Pickit. Why? In their own words, they wanted to eliminate noise, keep a small footprint and keep it simple.
“Pickit was able to achieve our goal a lot easier but with a lot less components.”
Vicki can now take a bag of products and dump them into a chute where the Universal Robot picks the products. As a result, she now has time to tend two lines with four robots, while still achieving great cycle times.
“With Pickit, we found an elegant solution that would fit directly into current production cell with very little modifications.”
According to Jerry and Mike from KYB’s Engineering Department, Pickit has several advantages. They chose it because of its elegance and small footprint, its ease of installation and use, its flexibility and support. Moreover, they mentioned the advantage of not needing an integrator to set it up.
“Here at KYB we have a few future projects that we can see great use for, for Pickit.”
KYB started their automation with one Pickit M system and one UR3 robot, as they like to improve processes step-by-step and measure successes before taking it further. After an evaluation, they decided to copy the first set-up to a second station. Later on, they even moved it to an additional line, ending up with four Pickit systems and four Universal Robots working together. Today, they are planning to automate more applications using Pickit and they’re exploring implementing the new M-HD camera to automate applications that they wouldn’t have been able to automate before.
KYB used Pickit for bin picking and machine tending. Want to find out how Pickit can benefit your company too? Leave you email address below to be contacted or complete our free proof of concept form.