We have achieved big savings and now have a very flexible product we can use when we are under
pressure of work. It gives us more hours in the day without us having to take on more staff.” - Production Engineering Manager, Laust Madsen
At Hosta Industries, production of large orders for a whole range of slabs was handled manually. Repetitive one-sided work was part and parcel of the production process. The company wanted to streamline the process in two ways: by making it more competitive and by eliminating monotonous physical work for the staff so as to be still more competitive.
In the words of Production Engineering Manager, Laust Madsen:
"We wanted to be more competitive, with lower wage costs for our slabs. At the same time, it was very important for us that we should avoid one-sided repetitive work."
To solve this problem, Hosta Industries opted for a BILA solution.
"BILA came up with a very professional solution for us. We got to see it for ourselves when we were invited to go and see a solution in operation at another BILA customer. A full and detailed presentation of the project, clearly setting out how production would be streamlined, convinced us to choose BILA as supplier,"
says Laust Madsen.
The BILA RoboPower switches between different slabs as needed. A suction cup lifts the slab from its storage area onto a buffer station, which ensures the slab is accurately positioned. The slab is then picked up again by suction and moved automatically into a CNC milling machine, which mills the slabs to the relevant requirements. The robot then takes hold of the slab again and places it in its finished product storage area.
The project has now run its full course, and the outcome has lived up to the expectations of both Hosta Industries and BILA.
The investment frees up one member of staff from production, allowing them to look after a different machine, at the same time as slabs are being continually loaded onto the BILA RoboPower. Over short periods of time, the member of staff is quicker at moving the slabs into the CNC milling machine, but they are also more costly and need to have breaks during the course of the day.
"The RoboPower operates round the clock with us, as we are staffed for the full 24 hours, which means that, over a 24-hour period, we can produce the same number of slabs as previously, but at a lower cost with savings of 30% per slab,"
explains Laust Madsen.
At Hosta Industries, the BILA RoboPower handles 18,000–35,000 slabs a year, depending on size and demand.
For us the investment means that we have been able to release a member of staff from that job. This has given us some free capacity and more production resources. At the same time, the solution is tailored so that we can program the robot ourselves and move it round as needed.
Laust Madsen, Production Engineering