Uni­ver­sal Ro­bots helps Be­ta­com light up NZ

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - LIGHTING -

A New Zealand out­door light­ing man­u­fac­turer has in­vested in ro­botic tech­nol­ogy to en­sure it stays ahead of the com­pe­ti­tion curve.

Es­tab­lished in 1988, Be­ta­com Limited de­signs, man­u­fac­tures and as­sem­bles a range of road, area and tun­nel light­ing prod­ucts which are sold through­out New Zealand and Australia.

The com­pany’s 3,500 square me­tre man­u­fac­tur­ing and prod­uct de­sign fa­cil­ity in Christchurch ap­plies many tech­nolo­gies to en­sure the high­est qual­ity prod­uct is de­liv­ered to its cus­tomers.

How­ever, Be­ta­com wanted to in­crease its au­to­ma­tion ca­pa­bil­i­ties so they sought out the ad­vice and coun­sel of project en­gi­neer­ing group, De­sign En­ergy.

To as­sist in find­ing an af­ford­able and f lex­i­ble so­lu­tion, the team at De­sign En­ergy quickly re­solved to ap­ply a UR10 robot which is de­vel­oped and man­u­fac­tured by Uni­ver­sal Ro­bots, a leader in the new industrial col­lab­o­ra­tive ro­bot­ics mar­ket.

The UR10 was de­ployed to take over spe­cialised pro­duc­tion line tasks and sup­port higher vol­ume man­u­fac­tur­ing runs. The en­hanced au­to­ma­tion en­abled Be­ta­com to ser­vice new high vol­ume jobs with un­par­al­leled pre­ci­sion due to in­creased or­ders for its new range of LED road light­ing prod­ucts from city coun­cils through­out the coun­try. lenses in place be­cause if they were touched by hu­man hands and were left cov­ered in fin­ger prints the prod­uct per­for­mance may be af­fected.

“The use of the UR robot meant Be­ta­com could au­to­mate the pro­duc­tion process while main­tain­ing the clean en­vi­ron­ment needed be­cause it re­quires min­i­mum hu­man in­ter­ven­tion,” said Shat­ford. The ease of pro­gram­ming and the fact that the UR10 is a col­lab­o­ra­tive robot were also com­pelling fac­tors in the pur­chase de­ci­sion for Be­ta­com. Many other industrial ro­bots that could have been ap­plied to the Be­ta­com pro­duc­tion line were much more com­plex and re­quired cod­ing knowl­edge.

Shat­ford com­ments that the Be­ta­com de­ci­sion was also based on the fact that fol­low­ing the nec­es­sary risk as­sess­ments, the UR10 did not re­quire safety shields which meant their staff could work side-by-side with the robot in a col­lab­o­ra­tive and safe way.

“The level of com­plex­ity in the ro­botic tech­nol­ogy was ap­proach­able for Be­ta­com; they could see their work­ers be­ing able to eas­ily pro­gram and op­er­ate the robot. I think it was the user friend­li­ness that re­ally ap­pealed to them as well as its safety fea­tures.

“Be­ta­com had not ap­plied ro­bot­ics of this kind to its man­u­fac­tur­ing process be­fore. They own a sheet metal shop where they use au­to­mated stamp­ing and punch­ing de­vices, but they hadn’t de­ployed ro­bot­ics tech­nol­ogy be­fore,” said Shat­ford.

“They un­der­stood that au­to­ma­tion was the best op­tion for this process and the UR10 en­abled us to cre­ate an au­to­mated so­lu­tion at a price point which made sense.”

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