An articulated production line robot from an automotive factory has been repurposed and installed in the Flowcrete Sweden manufacturing facility after our Company President laid down a challenge to use robotics to boost the plant’s productivity.
Nicknamed ‘Kevin’ by the Flowcrete Sweden team, the machine now picks up large base units of resin from the end of the factory line and deftly places them onto pallets. These plastic and steel pails would be much too heavy for a person to lift, but Kevin can continue to package products for several shifts a day, 6 days a week.
The precision and dexterity of the robot’s movements is incredible, especially when you realise that it was originally intended for use in an entirely different industry.
The manufacturing plant in Sweden is now able to process and pack material at a faster rate than ever before. We’ve embarked on this course as Flowcrete is experiencing growth around the world, which means that it is vitally important to modernise and think creatively about how to make the most of our plants, resources and skills.
Kevin is the latest addition to this production line, which has seen several other upgrades during 2014 to enhance the automated filling and lidding process.
Flowcrete Sweden’s Factory Engineer Torsten Torstensson developed the production line and spent three months reprogramming the robot. His task was to create a production line that could handle nine tons of material a day and which didn’t require staff to lift excessively heavy loads.
The result is an entirely bespoke process. Nothing is prefabricated; instead it has all been made to Torsten’s own drawings and designs. One aspect that he’s particularly proud of is the automatic positioning of the buckets, as this has to be at exactly the right angle so that Kevin can move them around. Other companies have since been to the site to see the inventions he created for this production line.