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RA Rodriguez has introduced the Universal Robot into the production process at Danish engineering company Linatex to allow better use of manpower and an increase in production capacity.

In the absence of a viable automated alternative, Linatex had, for more than a decade, continued to use manual labour to feed parts into a CNC turning centre.

The company avoided robots because they were not only too expensive for its needs but also inflexible as the systems required dedicated and specialist support to convert them to other tasks.

The introduction of the Universal Robot, however, has changed the company’s whole perception of robots.

The robot’s ability to serve a variety of automation tasks is particularly important to Linatex as the company provides a specialised manufacturing service that involves small production runs.

Linatex is based in Herlev and processes engineering plastics and rubber for a wide range of industrial sectors.

Its products are found in everything from artificial hips to aeroplanes and wind turbines.

‘The operator used to feed parts piecemeal into the CNC turning centre, wait for the machine to complete its cycle, then remove the part,’ explains Kenneth Midjord from Linatex.

‘Now the machine can operate unattended until the store of plastic parts is empty; the robot really is a helping hand,’ he added.

The Universal Robot specified was a six-axis robot arm with a working radius of 85cm.

It weighs just 17.5kg and has a load capacity of 5kg.

It comes complete with a fully programmable touch-screen interface.

The Linatex robot is mainly used on relatively large production runs of 10,000 pieces.

It is used to load and unload the machine and the company has plans to extend its use for batches down to 50 items in size.

‘To use it on other tasks is simple as our employees can program it themselves with a little training,’ explained product manager Jorn Trustrup.

The system comprises an arm and a touch screen that displays full instructions on how to program the robot.

It is even possible to take hold of the robot arm to teach the required movement.

High-resolution encoders on the motors and gearboxes continuously record the robot’s position in relation to the programme.

This flexible robot system is now available in the UK from distributor RA Rodriguez.

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