Mobility in Manufacturing: A Case Study

Mobile manufacturing equipment is beneficial to a system. In a previous blog post, we explained the many benefits of mobile equipment. Some of those benefits include optimization of equipment, versatility in systems, and ease of maintenance.

Zeta recently had a customer that came to us for integration of automation to use in multiple different lines. We took that opportunity to explain to the customer the benefits of using cobots on a mobile cart.

The Customer’s Problem

This customer needed help automating twelve lines, each handling different sized and shaped parts. Only a few lines would be running at any given time.

Because of the different lines, the customer thought they needed separate automation for each line to handle the different choreography and part handling. The customer was concerned about the overall cost to automate every line.

Zeta’s Mobile Solution

To optimize their processes, we developed a solution that utilized three mobile robot (cobot) carts that would be used at each of the lines. These cobots were able to be docked and redocked at the different stations within minutes. 

Since each line handled slightly different product, the cobots were pre-programmed with every configuration for each of the twelve lines. All that an operator needed to do was select the specific programming for the line after docking it into place.

Additionally, one of the lines needed an end of arm tooling that was a bit different than the others. We applied a manual tool changer that allowed for easy removal of the tool so workers could change out tooling without a large amount of downtime.

The Outcome

Since we were able to help the customer implement three cobots in the system rather than twelve, the overall cost of the system decreased greatly.

The manufacturing process for the company was greatly optimized from this system as well. After utilizing the cobot system, this customer was able to see a 40% increase in throughput.

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