Dorset SME invests in robot for ‘lights-out’ automation
A Dorset manufacturer has invested in its first robot to help boost capacity and achieve ‘lights-out’ automation.
Brimor Engineering, a specialist in precision machined components, has installed a new HALTER LoadAssistant® from the Engineering Technology Group (ETG) as part of ambitious plans to capitalise on a recent 20% increase in sales.
The robot’s automated loading of up to 100 workpieces frees up staff to work on other machines and in different roles.
Chris Harley, Managing Director at Brimor Engineering, explained: “A lot of our precision components and assemblies are heading for the automotive industry, so there is a lot of pressure on making sure you deliver high quality and increasingly reducing lead times.
“As a small manufacturer, we have to be clever in our approach to achieving this and pinpointed the need to automate the loading process on one of our CNCs to help us continue production throughout the night.”
He continued: “It is our first investment in robotics and has fitted seamlessly into our Blandford Forum factory, potentially saving us up to four weeks of production time every year.
“We’ve had a really strong 2018 and, now we have freed up additional capacity, we want to go after new opportunities in sectors that are looking for precision complex components and speed of delivery.”
“Our technical experts have seen a significant increase in the number of ‘lights-out’ projects we are taking on, where we will work with sub-contractors to explore the possibility of producing components through the night without any labour costs,” added Steve Brown, Sales Director at the Engineering Technology Group.
“Advancements in technology mean this scenario is not purely the property of the big boys, with millions of pounds set aside to introduce it. No, instead SMEs like Brimor Engineering are switching on to the benefits this new industrial trend can bring.”