Technology is very important to us at Metalcraft, so bringing robotics in frees up our employees to work on other tasks.
Metalcraft has purchased an OMRON TM5-900 robot - a collaborative robot, which means it is designed to work around and with people.
The robot has safety features designed into the unit so it knows if it is bumping into something or someone, and will stop immediately.
Metalcraft also is adding a safety feature that senses if there are people in the work zone, causing the robot to slow down accordingly.
Metalcraft has had a focus on automation for years, and this is the first venture into what we call flexible automation, which means the robob can be moved to different areas based on workloads. This feature is key, as we have fluctuations in our manufacturing schedule, PTO days, etc., so we can shift the robot to where it is most beneficial to our needs.
It is a very new technology for Metalcraft, and we are learning quickly developing a list of areas where the collaborative robot can assist our members in the manufacturing process.