Our sister company, Vullings Metaalbewerking, has been using robots in its machining production since 2005. This does not have to mean a reduction in activities, however, as is evidenced by the fact that around 25 people worked at Vullings at the time and, today, in 2016, the company employs more than 40 staff, not including the four robot co-workers.
While we are home sleeping, one of these robots works the whole night through, operating a Fanuc RoboDrill (a 5-axle milling machine). The coordination and control between the robot, the RoboDrill and the component or material to be machined was developed entirely in-house at Vullings. What is special about this robot cell is that the product, the machine clamp and the robot gripper (the “hand” that the robot uses to handle the product) can be changed without any manual input, meaning that several different products can be manufactured in one cycle with no manual labour required (e.g. 10 x product A, 25 x product B and 15 x product C).
Dated 8/12/2016: This robot cell, which we designed in house, generated much interest from both machine and robot suppliers, as well as their clients. This led to Vullings Systemen recently designing a new robot cell, this time not for our own production purposes, but for one of our good customers in Belgium. After witnessing the robot cell in action in our production area, our customer placed an order for us to design a similar cell to produce a number of their products.
We are now in the concluding stage of this project. At the end of November, we briefed two of the customer’s employees on how to operate the system and instructed them on how to use the cell from a programming and production perspective. The fact that everyone is satisfied with the outcome is evident from the photo below. At this moment, the robot cell is being dismantled and transported to the customer’s premises, where it will then be rebuilt. Like ours, the robot co-worker will continue to produce excellent products for our customer throughout the Christmas period!