Whether pressed to make smaller products, produce higher volumes, improve overall efficiency, or reduce manufacturing costs, new market forces are dramatically impacting how the manufacturing industry looks at current automation processes. Companies are re-evaluating how to stay ahead of the curve by identifying areas of improvement and bringing in automation experts to optimize production lines.
So it is with Interplexico, a global company with over 100 years in the market and facilities in 14 countries. Interplexico is a trusted technology solutions provider to businesses in industries spanning automotive, aerospace, science, and telecommunications.
At its automotive plant in Jalisco, Mexico, Interplexico identified a need to improve production efficiency for one of its automotive parts production lines. This improvement process required the upgrade of obsolete, low-repeatability automation equipment associated with the loading, unloading and inspection of vehicle and transmission parts. The low repeatability of the existing technology was negatively affecting line efficiency, requiring constant manual intervention to adjust and correct manufacturing defects. As a result, Interplexico was unable to meet the high-volume demands of their customer, an automobile manufacturing company.
In search of new equipment to streamline production, Interplexico reached out to Kopar, a distributor of industrial automation solutions. The production line was analyzed with the A3 lean manufacturing process to identify the cause of its low efficiency.
A Pareto analysis quickly detected areas for improvement and established next steps for this time-sensitive project. Kopar recommended Epson’s 8 kg C8 6-Axis robot as a solution for the terminal loading and unloading operation of Interplexico’s injection molding process.
Epson controllers handling all deployed robots greatly simplified the programming tasks and overall implementation time during the installation. As Interplexico could use Epson’s robot controllers as a master system, they only needed to use the PLC for communications between the plastic injection press and the robots. This greatly reduced debugging and programming times. Developing this application in the Epson RC+ environment was extremely easy and allowed Interplexico to restart manufacturing operations very quickly.
With the support of Kopar, Epson’s 6-Axis C8 robots were integrated into Interplexico’s production line in a record time of five days with a total of five resources: three engineers and two technicians. Epson and Kopar delivered on the promise made during the sales process, quickly installing this new Epson technology in the automotive parts line and increasing manufacturing productivity by nearly 50 percent.
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