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Productivity Rise From Cobots

Wrexham based automotive supplier increases recruitment thanks to productivity rise from Cobots.

Hi Mark Automotive has been leading the way in the design and manufacture of injection moulded products for over 40 years and remain the oldest, privately owned business of its kind within the UK. Based in Wrexham, just over the border into Wales, their 25,000sq ft factory exports worldwide. They manufacture products that are used by some of the largest automotive companies in the world.

Their 40 strong workforce includes an experienced team of designers, using Computer Aided Design to create the best possible products, as well as creating bespoke solutions that meet the specific needs of their customers.

As a company they’re embracing Industry 4.0 technology and have recently installed two new collaborative robots onto their manufacturing lines. A collaborative robot, also known as a cobot is a robot that is capable of learning multiple tasks, so it can assist human beings.

Both cobots have been installed by leading collaborative robot integrators Reeco Automation. Reeco, based in the heart of Mid Wales, supply customers with solutions in automating systems using Human-Robot Collaboration (HRC/Cobots). They focus on providing the customer with an automated solution that will ultimately save them money and reduce production costs. They offer their customer’s a solution of integrating collaborative robots with their existing factory equipment and employees.

The new two UR5 Collaborative Robots are assisting the Hi Mark team with cutting and gluing of the spring isolators. This task would’ve previously been carried out manually and controlling the quality was an issue, due to the repeatability in such high volumes. The cobots have an accuracy of 0.1 mm, which has greatly improved the quality of the parts. The operators that were previously working on these manual tasks have now taken up less labour intensive and repetitive duties elsewhere in the factory.

With the factory manufacturing thousands of products every day, these tasks were highly repetitive and perfect for the implementation of automation. With repetitive tasks like this, an increasing concern for manufacturers like Hi Mark is Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI), integration of cobots like these significantly reduces the risk of RSI for workers. The sole purpose of these cobots was to improve the jobs for their workers by reducing the labour-intensive tasks.

It’s proven with factory’s that implement automation that they become more productive. This statement is very true within Hi Mark, productivity has increased on their production line, therefore more units are being produced everyday which has required additional staff to be employed further down the production line.