Schneider Electric Bulgaria implements UR5 cobots from Universal Robots with Soltec
In present situation the question about the security of people and implementation of robots in the everyday life is on the agenda more than ever. Collaborative robots from Universal Robots complement human activity and help people perform monotonous activities by allowing them to focus on more creative tasks. Cobots are famous for their flexibility, intellect, durability, and exceptional precision. This is why more and more companies are interested in innovative robotized solutions. Today we represent to you a successful Bulgarian example for the implementation of UR5 robots in the production of Schneider Electric.
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Schneider Electric provides energy and automation digital solutions for efficiency and sustainability. It addresses homes, buildings, data centers, infrastructure and industries, by combining energy technologies, real-time automation, software and services. The Schneider Electric Bulgaria plant is mainly focused on MCB (Mini Circuit Breakers) production for industrial and home applications. The company deployed UR5 cobots to automate the process of picking and placing power breakers and boxes, which shortened production time and moved employees to different manufacturing areas, unburdening the operators from dealing with the most repetitive tasks. The UR5’s return on investment is estimated at around 24 months.
Schneider Electric’s plan in Bulgaria is located in the town of Plovdiv, employing over 500 people. A challenge to further development of the enterprise is the need of a more effective production and the automation of everyday repetitive tasks.
“The cobots are used to replace non-ergonomic, repetitive and boring daily tasks. This allows operators to be more focused on product quality and machine performance”, says Antoniy Petrov, automation engineer at Schneider Electric. Apart from the need for the automation of strenuous and monotonous processes, Schneider Electric is an innovative company, constantly looking for modern, yet reliable solutions. “As our plant is recognized as a Smart factory and Showcase plant for 14 countries in South-Eastern Europe and following our Smart factory program, we decided to put innovative and reliable solutions,” said Petrov.
The UR5 cobots are now programmed to pick power breakers from the manufacturing line and place them in boxes. After this task is completed, the UR5 picks and places a new empty box to be filled again until the cart is full with 10 boxes. When the batch is finished, the robot directly alerts the operator for the changeover.
“The UR collaborative robots are connected to the automation system of the production line and follow processes like emergency stops. The cobot can reject full conveyors in order to provide a working area for the operator to remove the unfit for use units. It can also alert the operator when changeover is needed , and handle manual requests from the operator to stop operation and return into a safe position.”, Mr. Petrov explains.
The robot works fully autonomously, the operator is needed just for the changeover.
The loading process which is performed entirely by the UR5 is also very simple and well automated. As input, Schneider has a cart with up to 10 full trays trays in a batch. The cobot is able to detect the top tray through an additional detector and after that can arrange the position of MCBs inside the tray. The ROBOTIQ dual gripper is designed to pick up to 16 MCBs at once and place them at the on-input conveyor at the production line. When all MCBs are taken from a tray, the robot automatically moves the tray to the output trolley with empty trays. As a final step, when the cobot has finished unloading the entire cart, an operator is called to remove the cart and to put a new cart in place. This way, the operator is only needed when the input is finished and can focus on more creative tasks.
Thanks to the cobots’ various applications, the company has implemented two UR5 cobots in its production. “The UR was identified as the ideal solution thanks to its competitive price, easy installation, task change due to needs, reliable support and the easy programming and use.”, Mr. Petrov said. “Implementation of robotization in manufacturing processes must be with a vision to replace non-ergonomic, repeating and boring operations. This allows the company to have more time to develop a skilled operators and to make their processes more robust with better performance.”
Soltec supplied Schneider Electric with the technological solution with UR5 cobots. “Universal Robots is an innovative technology with a very simple and easy to use system. The customers use the cobots generally because they are very good leverage to optimize their manufacturing process,” said Jean Philippon, Project leader at Soltec. “On top of that, Soltec’s mission is to support the customers and their industry and to help them be more competitive and efficient.”
About Universal Robots:
Universal Robots is established in 2005 to make the robotic technology available to all by developing small, flexible industrial robots at reasonable prices, which are safe to work with human workers. Since the first collaborative robot (cobot) created in 2008, the company is in a constant growth, thanks to the easy-to-use cobots in sale all over the world today. The seat of the company is in Odense, Denmark and has subsidiaries and regional offices in the USA, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Turkey, China, India, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Mexico. The income of Universal Robots for 2019 is 248 million US dollars. For more information, please visit www.universal-robots.com.
UR5 is the best choice when it comes to the processing of objects with a weight of up to 5 kilograms. With a reach radius of 850 mm, UR5 is perfect for the optimization of light collaborative jobs such as picking, placing, or testing. The robotic arm is of medium size, is easily programmable and, just like the rest of the UR family members, offers an extremely fast payback period. More details you can find here.