Published on 23 June, 2021 in Flexible Manufacturing
Topcustom srl, an Italian producer of custom-made bathroom sinks, has recently transformed part of its operations by deploying a collaborative robot (cobot) from OMRON. The new cobot is being used to automate all the finishing operations of Topcustom’s products made from Ocritech. This is a light material that is easy to work, guarantees perfect hygiene and has excellent resistance to UV rays.
Cobot boosts production by 15% at Topcustom
The company needed the cobot for the precision milling of its sinks. This includes the removal of acrylic glue residues (from 1.5 mm to a maximum of 3 mm). The glue is used to connect the thermoformed basin of the sink to its top. OMRON's TM12 robot has a reach of 1300 mm and operates on two sides of a very large working area. It eliminates all rough edges (burrs) and residues of the acrylic glue with maximum precision and minimum human intervention.
The path that guides the robot’s movements is determined by a three-dimensional model of the sink, generated from the final customer’s drawing. This is because the model is able to import all the data and the calculations of the path program from the CAD / CAM so that there is a reliable initial basis for handling. This can then be refined to compensate for any variation in tolerances. Employee safety is guaranteed by special safety barriers equipped with scanners. These communicate the presence of personnel to the cobot so that it can stop moving whenever necessary.
As a result of introducing the cobot, Topcustom has increased its production by 15%, and is now producing more than 800 sinks per week, of different types and sizes. The whole process - from the initial order to the delivery of the finished product - can be managed in two weeks, with a level of precision and repeatability that isn’t possible with manual labour. This introduction to the world of Industry 4.0 has also enabled Topcustom to take advantage of the integration of future production data, by creating a link between the product codes and the associated processing programs.