October 14, 2017 by Rethink Robotics
Oct. 14, 2017 – A Spanish manufacturer of electronic products and systems, P4Q Electronics, says it has increased production throughput by 25 per cent since integrating Rethink Robotics’ Sawyer robot on its factory floor.
The robot tests printed circuit boards and according to the manufacturer, is driving improvements in process consistency that are resulting in better part quality and overall production output.
P4Q says it has been looking to automate more of its factory in an effort to improve efficiency and consistency, but found traditional caged robots to be unappealing due to high costs and employee safety concerns. After purchasing Sawyer, the company deployed the robot in just a few hours and is using and considering the robot for several additional tasks in addition to printed circuit board testing. This includes inspecting parts, taking pictures for quality insurance, picking and placing and line loading and unloading.
“Automating critical tasks in our production process has long been a priority, but we struggled to do it affordably,” said Alejandro Caballero, operation manager, P4Q Electronics. “With Sawyer, we have a cost-effective solution that improves the consistency of the process, which leads to better part quality and increased productivity. It’s given our organization a competitive advantage beyond what we expected.”
Founded in 1999, P4Q is an electronic design and manufacturing company based in Alonsotegi, Spain, with a focus on renewable energy, automotive, industrial and railway applications. The company’s portfolio of products includes train control and power systems, solar tracking controllers, LED applications for the automobile industry, controllers for wind turbines and more.
“A predictable, controlled process is critical to delivering quality product to customers, and, like many organizations, P4Q turned to automation to ensure consistency and predictability,” said Jim Lawton, COO of Rethink Robotics. “Sawyer affordably automates key processes and reduces the variability that often comes with humans performing the same task. By automating just one critical factory floor task, undesirable process variation can be greatly reduced.”
P4Q plans to assign additional tasks to Sawyer moving forward, with the goal of 100 per cent part quality. Additionally, P4Q is hiring additional personnel with the stated goal of finding additional areas to implement collaborative robots and automate the production process even further.