How can you reduce the production lead time by up to a half, increase supply chain performance and double your profitability in just a few years? The answer is automation. The forerunner of industrial robotics in Finland, Co-Automation, helped to achieve this with its automation project for ABB’s Breakers and Switches plant. According to Co-Automation’s CEO, Sami Kivioja, smart production automation increases the competitiveness of manufacturing plants without exception.
“Robotics is excellent, for example, in assembly, product testing and packaging. Automation also makes production more flexible so that it can be adjusted to fluctuations in demand,” he says.
Co-Automation delivers full production automation projects on a turnkey basis. The company is the number one in Finland in the utilisation of 3D modelling in production design, and to make the most of their services it’s best to get them involved at an early stage.
“We plan and model the production line that is to be automated in 3D form, so that production can already be simulated and developed at the design phase,” Kivioja explains.
Finally, the robots are programmed according to the 3D model for production automation, manufactured and test run at Co-Automation. After the project has been approved, the CE-marked robots are transferred to the customer’s premises. The transaction includes the training of the staff.
How heavy an automation investment is for a plant generally?
“Technology has gone down in price considerably over the years. At the moment, the prices for production automation technology and machine systems with robotics are extremely reasonable. Usually, the investment pays for itself within six months to three years,” says Kivioja.
There has been a lot of speculation in the media on whether robots will take over people’s jobs in the future. According to Kivioja, there is no need to worry about that; actually robots may bring improvements for workers. Thanks to automation, production volumes will rise and former assemblers will often be needed as the overseers of the production line.
“The manufacturing industry will not manage without robots. As a matter of fact, there is a trend now of returning production from low-cost countries to the country of origin and increasing the level of automation. This keeps all the know-how in-house and makes quality management and control easier,” he says.
Business sector: Turnkey production automation projects, turnkey delivery of robot systems
Turnover 2015: €4 million