ASD Lighting – Human Robot Collaboration

ASD Lighting required an increase in productivity and reductions in labour intensive tasks to reduce the opportunity of repetitive strain injury (RSI). A cobot screw fixing application comprising of two UR5 collaborative robots was deployed at the manufacturers plant in Rotherham to assist them with the production of their streetlights. The added speed, precision and efficiency have enabled ASD Lighting to increase production resulting in job creation further down the production line whilst reducing unfavourable work for operators.

The Company
Founded in 1983 and based in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, ASD Lighting designs, develops and manufactures commercial, domestic, industrial, street and security lighting from its 200,000 sq ft facility. With over 35 years of experience in the industry, ASD Lighting now employs over 200 people as it continues to evolve and push boundaries within emerging technologies. Embracing industry 4.0 technology, ASD Lighting contacted Reeco to assist in the automation of repetitive work.

The Original Process
The original process was highly repetitive and required improvements in productivity and a reduction in RSI potential. Historically on the streetlight production line the components were assembled manually with operators fixing screws into the LED boards, placing diffusers onto the assembly and then fixing the diffusers into place with more screws. When considering product consistency and cycle times this process is heavily dependant on operator ability. This variable limits ASD’s production capabilities due to output replying on operators’ capability of working at speed with consistent results. This presents ASD Lighting with a challenge as to improve their productivity and preserve a positive working environment for operators a solution was needed.

Reeco’s Solution
To increase productivity and alleviate operators of highly repetitive work, a cobot screw fixing application incorporating two UR5 collaborative robots was developed. The application was integrated into a section of a wider production process in which streetlights are assembled. The application fully automated the process of fixing screws into LED boards and the placement/screw fixing of diffusers onto the assembly. The application also ensures the automated movement of parts down the assembly line to ensure full integration with little need for intervention.

Two UR5’s were used for this project due to their speed and versatility; the UR5 is able to complement production regardless of the industry, company size or product nature. The UR5 is a lightweight, adaptable collaborative robot that tackles medium-duty applications with ultimate flexibility. The dual UR5 approach allows them to work together as additional members of the team with seamless integration, the new members have been aptly named Robbie and Roberta.

The cobots were each mounted to one of Reeco’s custom Robot Bases (RB base) which are made bespoke for each project as per the project requirements. The RB base is the heart of 99% of our solutions, housing all the electrical components and hardware needed for the project whilst also providing table top space for additional equipment.

The integration of these cobots has provided ASD Lighting with improvements in product consistency, productivity and safety conditions for employees through the reduction of RSI potential. A cobot is capable of working continuously throughout the duration of their operating hours with consistent efficiency and results which cannot be achieved by an operator. The application has saved the manual labour of one operator per shift with the added benefit of increased productivity which has actually led to job creation further down the production line.

Issues Solved

  • Unlocked further productivity increase through the automation of a screw fixing process

  • Improved product consistency

  • Full integration into the streetlight production line

  • Reduced the labour intensive tasks

  • Reduced the risk of RSI

Value Added To The Process

  • Improved cycle times

  • Increased repeatability and accuracy

  • Increased product throughput