Project Management & Implementation
The client needed to implement a technology that reduces manual operations and repetitive tasks within the existing process that represents ergonomic risks and material waste.
Implementing Collaborative Robots in an existing operation is very challenging. This type of technology is relatively new and therefore it is not easy to find other facilities that can serve as leverage or example for benchmarking. Besides the resource, budget and time typical project challenges, there were other to consider. There was not much available space for the new equipment. Additionally, some safety challenges were faced with the design. Some safety feature was added in order to comply with the safety review collaborative certification (ex. including safety sensors and safety light curtains to ensure operator’s safety measures in the CoBot design).
Ultimate Solutions provided project management and supported the implementation of CoBots within the existing process.
The first approach was to contact several suppliers to explain the Project and request them to provide quotes for the Cobots solution. Our team decided to engage in a developmental or proof of principal concept in order to understand if the Project feasibility. After a few months of engaging with the supplier we were able to see a prototype. The whole team visited the exhibition for the prototype, and we all agreed that it was feasible.
The next step was the design; the supplier sent us a document that described the functionality of the Cobots solution and the layout drawing of the system. The design was approved and certified, after several recommendations, by the safety experts as collaborative. In the Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) live trials will be performed with the new equipment to confirm its proper functionality.
It is estimated that the client achieved 2.41 FTE (1 FTE = 1 operator working 40 hours per week). In other words, in addition to mitigating the ergonomic risks of the repetitive tasks within the existing process, the collaborative robot is equivalent to additional 96.4 working hours per week.
Author: Alvaro Saavedra, Sr Project Manager