Universal Robots helps Betacom light up NZ
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.”