Innovative Fabrication

Assembly Line

Mill Automation Enables Lights-Out Production for Machine Shop

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🏢 Organizations: VersaBuilt Robotics, Innovative Fabrication

Innovative Fabrication found themselves struggling to keep their mills running. They relied entirely on human labor to load CNC machines without experience with automation. A thin labor pool was forcing them to fall behind on orders. These labor gaps meant Innovative Fabrication couldn’t consistently maintain two full shifts. These factors led to increased pressure from customers to deliver on time. The COVID-19 pandemic only exacerbated these problems.

Innovative Fabrication explored a UR-based solution from another provider. However, that solution was too specific to a single part set and wouldn’t be able to cover the customer’s broad range of parts without software and hardware updates. Ultimately, depending on contract system integrators to reprogram the robot and provide a new gripper to support new parts would cost Innovative Fabrication $20,000 – $30,000 per new part. This shortcoming was a significant issue for this customer’s high-mix production environment. However, VersaBuilt promised an automation system that would allow Innovative to add new parts to the automation without an expensive system integrator, complex robot programming, or custom gripper fingers for each part.

Read more at VersaBuilt Blog