Robotic quality inspection is improving productivity and containing manufacturing costs for a U.K.-based producer of fastener equipment.

Universal Robotics has supplied 15 UR3e cobots as key components in new cells for Breakstem autonomous manufacture. These systems have reduced product costs for Stanley Engineered Fastening by approximately Source: Universal RobotsSource: Universal Robots10% and shortened lead times by up to 70%. The cobots are producing approximately 350 million fasteners annually from across the company’s product range.

The new cells integrate four previously independent processes, boosting productivity and improving conditions for machine operators by eliminating 5.5 million lbs of manual handling per year. Within the manufacturing process a cobot randomly selects a component for batch sampling and performs a pre-programmed quality inspection. This involves degreasing, drying, deburring and feature inspection through a digital micrometer. The cobot then performs an automated destructive test by placing the part in a Stanley smart gun to record the break load of the components.

According to the company, the automated inspection capability frees machine operators from repetitive tasks and reduces lead times.

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