UR10e Robot Added to Ergoseal's Production Process

Ergoseal added a new team member to their production staff – a robot! By implementing automation into their machining process, Ergoseal saw improvement in their operational efficiency. They not only saw a boost in their production output but also witnessed a substantial reduction in labor costs.

This strategic move not only streamlined their workflow but also positioned them at the forefront of innovation in their industry. By embracing automation, Ergoseal improved their bottom line and enhanced their competitiveness in the market, setting a new standard for efficiency and productivity in the manufacturing sector.

The challenge

Ergoseal encountered a significant challenge in one of their crucial high-volume operations, where manual labor was required to load heavy components into an Okuma CNC lathe. As their customer began to scale up their orders, Ergoseal was under increasing strain to meet the rising demand while maintaining their quality standards. This posed a dual dilemma: not only did they need to enhance their production rate to keep pace with customer requirements, but they also had to ensure that the integrity and precision of their products remained uncompromised.

So, Ergoseal sought a solution that would alleviate the strain on their resources while upholding the stringent quality expectations of their clientele. They quickly recognized that an increase in manpower would not suffice; instead, they pursued an approach to leverage technology to optimize their processes. This led to exploring automation options that could significantly impact their production line.

The solution

DesignHawk, LLC developed a robotic solution using the Universal Robots UR10e, a collaborative robot tailored to streamline Ergoseal's production process.

"We came up with a very innovative solution to avoid handling the part multiple times so we're able to run parts faster than a person throughout the day,” said DesignHawk CEO Jeff Benning.

This innovative approach involved programming the robot to retrieve parts from a tray and seamlessly load them into the Okuma CNC machine. Once the machining process was complete, the parts were carefully transferred onto a specially designed hook, where the robot would promptly retrieve and return them to the tray for further processing.

Robot image 2 - HorizontalTo further optimize efficiency and extend uninterrupted production runtime, DesignHawk engineered an automated drawer system. This system autonomously presented new trays of parts to the robot, ensuring continuous operation without requiring manual (human) intervention. By seamlessly integrating robotics and automation into Ergoseal's workflow, this new addition enhanced productivity and elevated the level of autonomy and efficiency within their manufacturing operations.

The results

Following the implementation of the upgraded production line, Ergoseal achieved a remarkable 30% reduction in costs compared to the previous manual machine tending method which allowed Ergoseal to hold customers’ pricing constant even given volatile supplier increases and ongoing production increases due to inflation. Further, the automated system enabled a staggering 51% increase in the number of parts produced per day.

"We’ve been able to reduce our labor cost and get ahead on production for our highest volume part," said Ergoseal COO Christine Verni.

These substantial improvements underscore the significant impact of technological advancements on efficiency and productivity within the manufacturing process.

Design Hawk Upgrade Graphic for Ergoseal

Final thoughts

Ergoseal's commitment to excellence and innovation drove them to invest in cutting-edge solutions that would address the root causes of their challenges, instead of temporary fixes. By embracing this proactive approach, they aimed not only to meet their current demands but also to future-proof their operations against evolving market dynamics.

Thus, their pursuit of a solution went beyond mere efficiency gains; it embodied a strategic commitment to delivering unparalleled value to their customers while positioning themselves as leaders in their industry. This aligns with their dedication to moving forward with Industry 4.0 going forward and the intent to invest in ongoing improvements and their shop floor to increase efficiency and reduce costs.

For more information on Ergoseal and their OEM and custom sealing solutions, visit www.ergoseal.com or contact us today.