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There can be no doubt that industrial robots have become essential tools in helping to build manufacturing competitiveness in an increasingly demanding global economy. Unlike even the most skilled and dedicated workers, industrial robots can work tirelessly 24/7 on assembly lines without any loss of performance. They provide improved management control and productivity while also helping to consistently deliver high-quality results. Consequently, they can greatly reduce the costs of manufactured goods, improve quality, and reduce the time to market of new products - giving countries that use them an effective economic advantage on the world market.
Although the technology has been around for almost 50-years, industrial robots are still underused, and misunderstood. Most engineers know that by using a robot any repetitive process, manipulation or time critical pick-and-place task can be speeded up and carried out uninterrupted for longer, with better consistency. The problem for many companies is not ‘why should we employ a robot’, but ‘where’ and ‘how’ should we employ a robot. How to go about employing robots is however a matter of simple procedure and understanding where a robot can deliver the greatest benefit.
One essential, but often overlooked condition for the successful implementation of industrial roboticsis buy-in to the technology by senior management. After establishing the economic justification for robot implementation, senior management must become effective champions of the technology, establishing and stating the overall objectives for it as part of the manufacturing and business strategy. This is important to overcome inertia at lower levels of management, and also to provide the necessary level of resources to ensure project success.  
  • The role of management is also that of a facilitator; it must establish an open supportive environment, assigning personnel who are interested in adopting new techniques to the robotic project, providing support - and patience – as the initial project follows its essential learning curve. In common with all factory automation projects, success in implementing industrial robots demands a systematic approach.
Increase in quality and production
The advantages  – and resultant economic benefits - of a systematic approach are evidenced by two recent applications in the food processing and plastic injection moulding industries, that in both cases were realised with industrial robots from Mitsubishi Electric.


Example 1.

Robots increase daily production by over 80% and quality by 20% for Balkan cookie company.

The first application is food industry-based, and involves the use of two Mitsubishi RH-10AH85 SCARA robots at Banini A.D. of Kikinda, a successful and fast-growing enterprise that is rapidly becoming one of the leading companies in cookie production in the Balkans. Recently, the company decided to robotise a section of its facility to increase the production of cookies. 
“Before robotisation the production was managed through a combination of low level automation and manual operations,” said Branko Malenčić, Technical Manager of Banini A.D.. “After robotisation daily production of cookies has increased from
12,000 to 22,000 kg. Quality of product is 20 % better, and, as a result, the cookies belong in a higher quality class.“
Example 2.
Robots increase production by 10% at already automated injection moulding plant, and operate 24hrs for six years without a failure.
“The faster removal of the moulded parts alone has increased our production rate by 10 percent,”  - a quote from Dr. Rainer Bourdon, Head of Quality Management and Marketing at Rodinger Kunststoff-Technik (RKT) GmbH, regarding the application of Mitsubishi RV‑6S articulated-arm robots used to remove parts from the moulding machines at the German company.                    
RKT develops, designs and manufactures advanced injection-moulded components for the motor industry, the electrical and electronics sectors, medicine and telecommunications. Innovative products and flexible manufacturing facilities ensure that the medium-scale company remains internationally competitive. 
Every year over 70 injection moulding machines at the plant manufacture around 500 different products with production runs between 100,000 and 1 million units. Robots are now used to handle the delicate moulded parts to prevent expensive wastage. In the past RKT used linear robots for this task, but they were slow and inflexible and increasingly unable to cope with the wide product range, high output and frequently-changing production tasks.
Articulated-arm robots with 6 degrees of freedom (DOF) were found to be a better alternative. Their enhanced flexibility of movement means that they are ideal for tasks such as inserting and removing parts into and from injection moulding machines. When the mould opens the robot’s arm reaches in at high speed, removes the parts using a vacuum gripper and then places them on a conveyor belt or in a collection bin. Often the robot must remove up to 48 parts in one sequence and place parts precisely in a variety of different cavities.
In addition to making the injection moulding plant very flexible – a robot can be reconfigured for a different moulding machine in just an hour – the articulated-arm robots also bring concrete economic benefits: The faster removal of the parts alone increased the production rate by 10 percent. When it comes to acquisition cost the linear units are also unable to compete with the price-performance ratio offered by the modern articulated-arm robots. Furthermore, the robots are extremely reliable: So far not one of the Mitsubishi 6-DOF robots has failed in the six years that they have been in round-the-clock operation.

About Mitsubishi Electric

The name Mitsubishi Electric stands for innovative, high-quality products, and this includes products for factory automation. The programmable logic controllers, drive solutions and industrial robots manufactured by Mitsubishi Electric are widely recognised as being among the best and most powerful available today and they have been helping to drive business success in Europe for nearly 30 years. Users in all industries depend on our reliable products, customised solutions and comprehensive service and support. The robots range includes articulated-arm, SCARA and high-precision robots for handling tasks with payloads between 1 and 12 kilograms. Mitsubishi Electric is the overall European leader in this market segment.
For more information about Mitsubishi robots please contact Karin Lischewski, phone 0049/2102/486–6130,Email
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Your local Czech Mitsubishi PR contact:
Mrs. Vladka Edmondson
DMA Europa Ltd.
Tel: +44 (0)1299 405454
Mitsubishi Electric Europe:
Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V.
Karin Lischewski
Gothaer Str. 8
D-40880 Ratingen
Tel.: +49 (0) 2102 / 486 - 6130
Fax: +49 (0) 2102 / 486 – 3548

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