Robot "˜novice' meets exponential growth in marine pump demand

The economic viability of its new marine pump and legislation on the use of heavy fuels in international waters has increased production demand exponentially for Separator Spares International (UK) Ltd. To maintain its competitiveness and meet demand the Isle of Wight based manufacturer has installed its first robot, a Kawasaki R Series, to load and unload parts from two 4 axes twin spindle milling machines.

Supplying large ships, SSI specialises in the manufacture and supply of spare parts for pumps and other essential components. Evolving from a supplier of "˜O' rings to a manufacturer of high-precision pumps, made to its own design, has given SSI a strong reputation for highly efficient products at competitive prices.

Mark Pacy, a member of the SSI production team explains: "We used to buy all our rotors in while we were developing our own designs and had one 4 axes machine centre to perfect our own manufacturing process. Once we had proven the design and process we knew that demand would exceed the single machine so a duplicate was procured with the intention of automating the loading and unloading.

"No robotics skills existed in our company; we were complete novices, so we went out to several leading robot suppliers for help. Kawasaki Robotics offered the same work envelope arm as everyone else but had the benefit of an extra 5Kg payload which we required. From the first contact we had support in the form of 3D model software for our own system and simulations to prove capability."

SSI wanted to undertake as much of the project as possible and use it as a learning curve in robotics; to support this process they were provided with a list of approved Kawasaki support engineers to assist as required. Alan Thompson, SSI's Machine Shop Foreman, explains: "We thought the machine interface and robot integration was a "˜black art' but the engineer quickly completed all requirements. The whole process was more straight-forward than we thought it would be with continual support available from Kawasaki."

Space was at a particular premium at SSI and initial layouts positioned the machines opposite each other; Kawasaki suggested that a side-by-side machine positioning with the robot gaining access through the side access panels would allow faster setup times for tooling. This allowed an optimum 1.2m space for the robot to work in to include component racks and gauging.

The cell is able to handle six variants of rotor which are loaded into magazines to allow for totally unmanned production at night. A single gripper design allows handling of all variants from 15mm to 38mm diameter.

Keeping it simple

Alan continues: "Our approach to everything was to keep it simple. The gripper saves us changeover time and the magazines and programme selection are all we need to address during set-up. Utilising the robot to the full we use it to slide open and shut the side access door of each machine to avoid using actuators and should a jam occur in the gravity-fed magazine the robot can operate a slide hammer to vibrate the two magazine locations. Gauging is also managed by the robot on every component prior to loading."

Mark Pacy believes they have proved it is well within their capability to implement further robot installations and get it right. He says: "Payback is looking to be particularly good on the robot and although it's too early to be precise we expect it to be under a year; we are already looking at the next operation downstream from the first cell.

"In summary the robot has proved to be a "˜no brainer' solution for SSI; it's helped us to increase production and, as a result, to take on more people to keep the robot fed. And, as for our business, it has ensured we are the most competitive supplier in the World."

More information about Kawasaki robots can be found at www.kawasakirobot.co.uk.

Kawasaki Robotics (UK) Ltd

Unit 4, Easter Court
Europa Boulevard, Westbrook
Warrington
WA5 7ZB
UNITED KINGDOM

+44 (0)1925 713000

info@kawasakirobotuk.com

www.kawasakirobot.co.uk

More from Kawasaki Robotics (UK) Ltd

Multi-million cycle robot replaced after almost 20 years

Posted 2 weeks ago

Canny robot decision brings cost savings

Posted 1 month ago

New Kawasaki robot is fastest in its class – sneak preview video

Posted 2 months ago

Crumbs! Kawasaki robots pack biscuits

Posted 4 months ago

Robots lift pastry sales

Posted 6 months ago

Robots fabricate steel frames for manufacturer of modular homes

Posted 7 months ago

Robot palletises woodshaving bales

Posted 8 months ago

Kawasaki Robotics hosts "˜ask the experts' event at MACH 2020

Posted 11 months ago

Robot applies labels accurately to strapping instead of pallets

Posted 1 year ago

Kawasaki robot selected for demoulding concrete slabs

Posted 1 year ago

Kawasaki Robotics and Synthotec win Plastics Industry Award

Posted 1 year ago

Kawasaki Robotics is finalist in Plastics Industry Awards 2019

Posted 1 year ago

Kawasaki robot plays key role in automated welding cell

Posted 1 year ago

Precision moulder boosts productivity with Kawasaki robot

Posted 1 year ago

Kawasaki Robotics duAro twin-arm cobot installed at university

Posted 1 year ago

Kawasaki adds 1000kg workhorse to robot line-up

Posted 5 years ago

New robots line up at Kawasaki open day

Posted 5 years ago

Kawasaki Robotics launches new palletiser robot range

Posted 5 years ago

Kawasaki introduces new compact welding robot

Posted 5 years ago

Industrial robot controls positioning and silicone application

Posted 6 years ago

New high-speed spot-welding robot from Kawasaki

Posted 6 years ago

Kawasaki reliability is key to continued robot investment

Posted 6 years ago

Kawasaki marks 25-year foundry role with VA Technology

Posted 7 years ago

Robots take the load for cooperage

Posted 7 years ago

Compact delta arm robot extends Kawasaki pick and place range

Posted 7 years ago

Kawasaki's space-saver robot palletising systems at TOTAL 2013

Posted 7 years ago

Ash clean-up for robot at H+H UK Ltd

Posted 8 years ago

Robotic palletisers boost efficiency and output for Heinz

Posted 8 years ago

Intelligent robot safety system simplifies human interaction

Posted 8 years ago

Explosion-proof robots are designed for paint-spraying

Posted 13 years ago

More applications
3 days ago
Boxing clever
A new chainflex cable box means big shipping cost savings for customers
3 days ago
New industrial vision online channel sees the light of day
Industrial vision provider IDS is making its expertise as a manufacturer of digital industrial cameras available free of charge and readily accessible on a new platform
3 days ago
Ball screws help protect buildings from earthquakes
Ball screws from NSK are helping to protect structures and people in earthquake zones
3 days ago
ATEX certification for new pneumatic valve island
Pneumatic process control offers numerous benefits, especially in hygienic applications. Bürkert says that its new Type 8652 AirLINE valve island provides users with improved safety features, communications and diagnostics
3 days ago
ABB launches condition-based maintenance service for robots
New service enables users to plan ahead and optimise production performance
3 days ago
What the UK-EU trade deal means for UK vehicle manufacturers
Now the UK has left the EU, the transition period has ended and the two parties have established a new trading relationship, UK-based vehicle manufacturers have some clarity over what they need to do to serve three key markets: Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales), the EU and Northern Ireland
3 days ago
Farnell publishes Industry 4.0 ebook
New ‘Industry 4.0 Interviews’ ebook is available for free download from Farnell and showcases the opinions of leading global experts on the future of IIoT and Industry 4.0
3 days ago
Can DC motors be used at high temperatures?
There is no need for a heated discussion about it as maxon’s motor expert Andrew Gibson offers a view on the subject
4 days ago
Switching up a gear
Phoenix Contact is expanding its line of unmanaged switches
4 days ago
New Intertronics metering, mixing and dispensing system
Adhesives supplier Intertronics has introduced a new 2-K-DOS metering, mixing and dispensing system, said to be a compact, benchtop unit suitable for materials including silicones, polyurethanes and epoxies