Kawasaki reliability is key to continued robot investment at Ryobi

Ryobi Aluminium Casting (UK) Limited, has built up a significant population of Kawasaki robots over recent years with reliability being key to its continued investment.  The Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, based business is a global leader in specialist aluminium die castings.

Investment in Kawasaki robots began around 2008 with five ZX165U robots handling an automotive engine and transmission aluminium diecasting through the machining process.  The 165Kgs payload robots pick a casting from a buffer conveyor to load and unload seven identical CNC machining centres that process a throughput of 300,000 units per year.

Ideally suited for machine loading applications, the Z Series robot has a horizontal reach of 2.65 Mts and a payload of 165Kgs.  This reach and capacity has proved to be the optimum for Ryobi's throughput allowing it to source the same specification robot for all current and planned future requirements.  

"To date we have 14 Kawasaki  Z Series robots at Ryobi (UK)," explained Neil Campbell, Manufacturing Manager, Ryobi, "Kawasaki was a trusted robot supplier to the integrator that installed the first system and we've not been disappointed.  We never have any issues with the robots and if we have a power outage they just power back up again without problems.

"Implementing robotic loading and unloading has vastly increased capacity;  before automating the process shift performances varied considerably, parts and tooling suffered damage and the bottom line was that the operator performance was setting the takt time - now its the robot that works to the programmed takt time."

Over 45 operators at Ryobi receive training on the Kawasaki robots to ensure safety standards and confidence are maintained.  This is managed efficiently in-house in conjunction with the local Northern Regional College (NRC) which has a staff member from its advanced Engineering training department attending the Carrickfergus plant. 

"Training is very important to us and with 45 people coming into contact with the automated cells it pays to have confident operators.  We have an agreement with the local NRC who have had a lecturer in advanced engineering attend special training courses at Kawasaki Robotics in Warrington.  Not only do we train to a high level of operational use and system programming but we are now able to focus on maintenance requirements," continued Neil.

Recently installed Kawasaki robot systems were integrated by Evershed Robotics Limited (ERL); in one system an automotive engine and transmission casting is handled through a trimming press and a shot blasting process while the stillages are handled and stacked when each one becomes empty.

The completed casting then enters another cell where it is loaded into a Marposs leak tester by another Z Series robot. 

Working with Heller the latest ERL system manages the handling of an engine and transmission casting through a washing process involving 3 machines and a vacuum dryer process.

In each of the cells the reach of the robot relative to its small footprint allows the minimum amount of space to be taken up while providing a clean and un-complex solution.  Additionally the 165Kgs payload allows double grippers to be used when required to speed up the load/unload process.

Each robot utilises the E-series controller with new higher speed processing, which enables application commands, both PC programmes and also Kawasaki’s K-Logic PLC programmes, to run at up to 18 times faster allowing cycle times to be reduced.

View the video here:  http://youtu.be/UfHSCoNUf5Q

Image:  Ka-024-A-01

Image:  Ka-024-A-02

Issue reference:  Ka-024-A

Issue date:   7th April 2014                     

Photography and graphics: http://news.cision.com/kawasaki-robotics-uk-limited

Contact:  Katiel@jonoliver.com for high resolution image file.

Issued by:

Katie Lees, Jon Oliver Communication Ltd.  +44-(0)1902-757115

Katiel@jonoliver.com

Further  information:

Ian Hensman, UK Sales and Marketing Manager, Kawasaki Robotics UK Ltd
Unit 4, Easter Court, Europa Boulevard, Warrington WA5 7ZB
Tel +44 (0)1925 713000 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting       email: ianhensman@kawasakirobotuk.com

Visit our web site:      www.kawasakirobot.co.uk

Notes to editors: 
Kawasaki Robotics (UK) Ltd is the UK robotics division of Kawasaki Heavy Industries Japan. 

Based in Warrington, Kawasaki Robotics (UK) Ltd occupies a 15,000 Sq. Ft. Building.  Its location provides easy access to the main motorway network and is at the centre of its customer base.

The facility centralises all the sales and customer support operations, with areas for customer demonstrations, training, robot test and integration and a large area for stock machines. Over 1,800 machines are now operating in a wide range of industries and applications throughout the UK.

Operating through a network of system partners, automation integrators and also supplying direct to end users, Kawasaki Robotics (UK) Ltd offers experience in the widest range of industry sectors. 

Kawasaki Heavy Industries introduced its first industrial robot into the Japanese domestic market in 1969 and since then has developed into a world leader in the manufacture of industrial robots.  Renowned world-wide for quality and technology in all its engineering systems and products, this philosophy is continued throughout the Kawasaki Robotics divisions.

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