Handling highly sensitive glass tubes requires maximum precision and delicacy. For this reason, 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 the collaborative robots from Universal Robots, the company found the right ones.
"The glass is extremely sensitive. Even the smallest temperature changes on the tools have an effect on 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 used the collaborative UR robots for this task for the first time, we suddenly got top results," explains Robert Hofmann, Managing Director at Hofmann Glastechnik.
Another challenge in the company is the necessary flexibility. The cobots 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 for up to eleven hours a day.
The company has developed a mobile device so that they can also be used flexibly at other workstations. With this device, the robots can easily be assigned to other workstations and immediately continue with this task.