William Hughes Bulgaria OOD uses cobots in a three-shift mode in the spring production

Soltec provides the delivery and technical maintenance of cobots at the client's facility in the shortest time frame, just like the training of the personnel working along with them.

William Hughes Bulgaria OOD uses cobots in a three-shift mode in the spring production

The Bulgarian entity is leading the robotization of the group, Soltec provides delivery and maintenance of the cobots.

Project objectives

  • Increase capacity utilization of the wire bending machines
  • Reduce delivery time
  • Precisely align output products
  • Eliminate the risk of accidents at work


Solution

  • Application of collaborative robots: UR5 -5 pcs and UR3 - 2 pcs
  • Training of the staff  for work with cobots
  • Support 24/7


Results

  • Machine park working in mode 24/7
  • Lead time shortened by 20%
  • Standardized stacking of finished products


Cheap labor today will not be cheap tomorrow.

William Hughes Bulgaria OOD belongs to William Hughes UK Ltd. - a group of global manufacturer of springs and wireforms headquartered in the UK. The Bulgarian subdivision started work in 2004 in Trakia Economic Zone near Plovdiv. From then on the average y/y production growth has been about 10%. The company is especially proud of its ability to respond flexibly to the demand and to produce small series in short terms for prestigious international clients of the automotive, furniture and other industries, names like Johnson Controls, Proseat and Ferer included.

Just like the other enterprises in the machine building sector the company has to deal with a distressed labor market. Until recently, this was mostly valid for engineering and middle management staff, but in the past two or three years in the region of Plovdiv there is a shortage of manual labor. The company manages to predict this development on time and developed a strategy for automation of routine manual operations in production. According to the manager of the company Ben Cox, in just a few years the Bulgarian factory became a leading example of robotization for the whole group. The solutins tested here were are later on applied in the other production facilities of the group worldwide. A total of 7 collaborative robots are tend in 24/7 mode the wire bending machines, thus increasing the machine capacity utilization to the theoretical maximum. The cobots also solve another problem: due to the elasticity of the used steels it often happened that finished articles were jammed during stacking and transport, which disturbed the subsequent operations and posed a risk to quality. Today, cobots sort the details according to a programmed pattern and with a precision, sufficient to eliminate the problem at all. Soltec EOOD in its role of Universal Robots distributor in Bulgaria cares that delivery and technical support happen on-site and as fast as possible, it also trains staff in programming the cobots. 


Looking to the future

Encouraged by the presentsuccess, the team of William Hughes Bulgaria OOD thinks about the next stages of automation and this indicates new tasks for the team of Soltec EOOD. The challenge for Soltec is to provide the  Bulgarian manufacturers with the same access to modern technologies that their competitors around the world are used to see.