The result – Pick & Place application for highly sensitive glass tubes
To enable Hofmann Glastechnik GmbH to make better use of its employees’ potential and to optimise production processes, the company relies on automation with robots. Especially the constantly repetitive and manual activities were automated with two collaborating robots from Universal Robots. They now take over the automatic machine loading for the series production of highly sensitive glass cuvettes.
This improves the quality of the products, relieves the employees and stabilizes the production processes.
The challenges in the company
The highest precision and fineness is required when handling highly sensitive glass tubes. For this reason, the machine loading was previously carried out by employees. However, these highly qualified employees can be deployed much more effectively.
For this reason, the company was looking for robots that could perform these highly sensitive tasks. With Universal Robots collaborating robots, the company found the right ones.
“The glasses are extremely sensitive. Even the slightest temperature changes on the tools affect the forming result. Our employees used to load the glass lathes manually. Even short interruptions in the work process naturally caused the machines to cool down again and again. When we first used the collaborating UR robots for this task, we suddenly got top results,” explains Robert Hofmann, Managing Director at Hofmann Glastechnik.
A further challenge in the company is the necessary flexibility. The robots must be able to be quickly assigned to other tasks.
In their regular work, a UR5 and a UR10 robot feed the production components to several PLC-controlled glass lathes. They do this up to eleven hours a day.
The company has developed a mobile device so that they can also be used flexibly at other workplaces. With this device, the robots can easily be assigned to other workplaces and immediately continue with this task.
The solution from Universal Robots
Björn Uthe, the department manager in the machine park at Hofmann, was immediately convinced by the user-friendliness of the Cobots.
„The handling of the UR robots is really very intuitive. Once you have understood the processes and functions behind them, the robots can be operated by anyone. In the past, we always had to walk back and forth between the individual glass lathes and load them in parallel. In principle, we could hardly keep up with them in production. Since the UR5 and the UR10 have been working with us, I can once again devote more time to setting up the machines.“
Thanks to the collaborating robots from Universal Robots, Hofmann Glastechnik GmbH is able to achieve various objectives. Employees are deployed for more demanding tasks, downtimes are reduced and production processes are stabilised.
All in all, the company is thus achieving a significant improvement in quality and an increase in efficiency. In addition, production capacities have been increased by 50%. The investment in collaborating robots had already paid for itself after 6 months.
Cobots at Hofmann Glastechnik