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Afbeelding: Automation_Rompa

We strive for automation

17 March 2021

When most people think about ‘automation’ they think and picture manufacturing automation, but ever since humanity is walking around this globe they wondered: “How to make life easier”? Now, combine this with the Dutch practical way of thinking and you will start to see the automation Rompa Group has in mind. In this week's article we explain a bit about automation, what this means for the Rompa Group and how we implement this in our day to day productions and work.

What is automation for Rompa Group?

In this case, when we talk about automation, we talk about automation in manufacturing and production. We try to use equipment and processes to automate systems with the main goal of getting these processes as efficient as possible, and the ability to increase production capacity which in return saves costs. Regarding the question how to make life easier in manufacturing, the answer is: use machines to reduce work performed by humans. Automation may not be right for all manufacturers, for Rompa Group and our clients it definitely is. When talking about automation in manufacturing we talk about three types of automation processes: fixed, programmed or flexible.

Fixed

Fixed automation is all about volume! This type of automation is set to a single task.

Programmed

We talk about programmed automation to produce different types of products. In this process, downtime is always considered and necessary for changeovers.

Flexible

The programmed automation has led to flexible automation. During the process of flexible automation the changeovers are automatic. As you might have read in our previous article about the SMED method, we try to handle downtime as efficiently and quickly as possible. If we can limit the different parts necessary and use the same tools for several productions, downtime will be significantly less.

Benefits of automation in productions

Some of the main benefits of using automation are consistency, precision and a smoother operational process. But the road towards a smooth automated process is not always easy. To increase production and efficiency we use sensors that monitor the machinery so we can analyse the data and graphics, to search for points where we can improve automation. Monitoring is also beneficial during production so we can be on top of failures that could occur, and know where maintenance is needed. With this real-time data, we can also inform our clients very accurately about the status of their products for shipments and stock. When we have an optimized automation process we can say that the following elements are beneficial:

  • Changeovers go fast, so downtime is reduced.
  • Maintenance is monitored and predictable.
  • The ability to monitor gives more insight.

Examples of automation processes we use

Lid en seal automation

This is an automation in line with an injection moulding machine.

  1. Injection moulding lids.
  2. Robot removes lid.
  3. Collection in bunker / buffer system.
  4. Work up in the up-up and down-down orientation.
  5. Check - up is up and down is down.
  6. Carousel movement.
  7. The seal is placed.
    a. A photo of each seal is placed during installation.
    i.   Seal orientation check (up-up, down-down).
    ii.  Seal roundness check.
  8. Check if the seal is present.
  9. Pass through the product and pack in bulk.
  10. Buffer packaging system.

Cup en insert automation

This is an automation in line with an injection moulding machine. The second plastic part is delivered in bulk.

1. The cup is sprayed on the sputtering machine.
2. The insert is sprayed on the injection molding machine, and supplied in bulk in a bunker which also acts as a buffer.
3. The insert is worked upwards and the orientation up-up is realized mechanically
4. A the cup, the 8 products (8-fold molds) are removed with the 3-axis robot and the products are placed on a cooling table.
            - This takes over the position from the mold.
5. The insert is pre-centered in rotation so that the 6-axis robot can handle the products packs (per 2).
6. The cups are taken per 2 by the 6-axis robot on the right side.
7. The inserts are placed in the carousel x2.
8. The cups are placed over the insert x2.
9. A pressing station presses the cups onto the inserts, so that a press fit takes place
10. A quality check takes place simultaneously.
            - Whether the press fit has taken place
            - Whether the placement has taken place to the correct level.
11. During the next process packaging material is prepared, buffered and delivered.
12. The third 6-axis robot stacks the cartridges on top of eachother and ensures the packaging is filled extremely efficiently
13. The operator uses a tape roller to seal the products, and the pallet can be loaded.

Afbeelding: Automation_Rompa

Automating Rompa Group

Rompa Group is known for their global footprint with many production sites and offices around the globe. We aim for a lean production approach, this becomes possible thanks to financial stability and worldwide coverage. Automation is just one key element to improve production as it is known. At Rompa Group we try to use and implement various processes to work towards the goal of a lean production approach.

How do we see the future in manufacturing? Iot and other digital technologies will be key elements for producing as we know it. Also, robotics will improve in technology and will be able to offer a lot more. We are excited about what the future will bring us seeing technology developing fast. 

Make sure you read about these processes, techniques and innovation on our news page. Would you like to know more about automation at Rompa? We are always happy to answer all your questions and additional advice we can give you. Don’t hesitate, and contact us!