More flexible robots let SMEs automate like big businesses

Faster, more flexible and more cost-efficient ­­– these are the current production requirements. However, small and medium-sized enterprises are the most likely to ask themselves this question: Are the machines working well enough to meet these expectations? How can automation make production more flexible?

The issue of flexibility is particularly pressing for medium-sized companies when it comes to robotics. They would like to automate larger parts of their production with robots. However, potential robotics customers are sometimes uncertain if they can use the robots in a sufficiently versatile and frequent manner. The magic word of the future is “flexibility” and it’s becoming more and more synonymous with the future viability of companies.

More individualization, more variants of products, digitalization of processes, a move away from rigid mass production towards personalized products – all these lead to a radical transition. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular must be flexible to stand up to competition. But how can we ensure that the investment in automation is worthwhile and that the robots are not left standing unused?

Retooling? There’s nothing easier than that

Lenkering Montage- und Zerspanungstechnik GmbH (LMZ) has taken on this problem and found a solution. They set out to develop a robot-based application that was flexible while minimizing downtime. They mounted a KR 6 R900 robot from the versatile KUKA robot KR AGILUS line of robots on a mobile frame. The KR 6 R900 robot’s robust construction allows it maximum repeat accuracy and continuous precision, which enable it to work with production machines.

The KUKA robot KR 3 Agilus

The robot is coded to know which tool it is currently using. If this tool does not match a newly selected activity, it will replace the tool independently. The application is particularly suitable for small and medium-sized companies due to its mobility and fast changeover times, and the lightweight material made of plug-in profiles. It only takes eight minutes to install or dismantle of the system. Contrast that with other robot-based solutions that require around 3.5 hours! That valuable time can now be used for other tasks.

Automation perfectly suited to SMEs

As you can see, small and medium-sized companies don’t have to be afraid to automate with robotics. They just need to go about it in the right way. LMZ makes it easy to automate. There’s a path toward flexible manufacturing that allows SMEs to move their production into the future – a future in which they will be able to use robots in more versatile ways with less downtime.

Here you can learn more about LMZ’s new application.

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