Customer, Challenge & Risks
Our customer was a manufacturing engineer for a large bus manufacturer located in the Southeastern United States. They were dealing with the same labor pains plaguing many manufacturers today, the inability to hire and retain good employees.
They were looking for a way to automate their current manual process of dispensing a bead of urethane onto both the left and right windshields of their buses prior to installation. This urethane bead fastens the window in place and acts as a weather seal, so it was critical to our customer that this bead be uniform and consistent.
This customer found out about Pioneer Industrial System through a referral from FANUC. They reached out to FANUC about the project because they were already implementing a new state-of-the-art FANUC robotic paint line into their finishing plant. In turn, FANUC reached out to our team since the scope and application of the project aligned with our knowledge and expertise.
Originally a senior engineer from their company worked with us on a more complex system that would load the windshield, dispense the urethane bead, and install the windshield. Our team worked off this original idea providing them with a quote and a 3D model of the concept, but when the proposal was presented to their leadership it was declined due to budgetary constraints and eventually lost traction. The project was then passed down to the manufacturing engineer who reached back out to us with a revised concept that only focused on the dispensing process. We modified the design and quote for this system which the engineer then submitted to leadership for CapEx. The budget was approved, and the project was kicked off.
Initially, the customer wanted to use a collaborative robot that requires no safety fencing, but due to the weight of the hose when filled with material and the high-traffic area where the system was to be installed, we steered the customer to a superior solution of a standard 6-axis robot with a safety fence that was more preferable for the application.
Some challenges arose when our team got to work on building the system. Post-COVID component lead times delayed the project’s initial timeline and due to travel restrictions, we were unable to do an in-house run-off and had to do a virtual run-off of the system instead. Regardless of these challenges, we were still able to commission the system before production started.
Outcomes of Success
Overall, this project was successful with the system being fully integrated before our customer began production.
The customer came to us looking to automate a manual application that was critical in their manufacturing process. After some initial challenges and revision, our team was able to implement this robotic dispensing system that exceeded our customer’s expectations. Not only did this solution help ease some of our customer’s pain due to the labor shortage, but it also improved the quality/consistency of this manufacturing process as well as increased the throughput.
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Contact us today to talk to an automation expert about your unique challenges. We take the time to listen and will help you to assess your options. From there, we’ll set up a free consultation to visit your operation and see your challenges first hand. There is never an obligation. We are just passionate about helping manufacturers solve their problems with robotics and automation.