THIS TIME I’M RUINING MY HANDS
It all looked so easy and yet I risked a lot.
A few months ago a client called me to discuss a new machine.
He showed me a filter body. A fairly simple piece, deburred through blanking. In our sector we define that piece as wonderful…. Some of my friends would say “a piece that speaks!”
But there is a problem!
Unfortunately this time I was underestimating the problem.
I took the piece in my hand and right on cue, I didn’t see the trap.
The client told me that only 2 inside the piece crossing wholes should be deburred. He told me that through blanking it was impossible to ensure that no burr ran down.
Simple, far too simple!
I asked him as usual to see what he was doing manually. He became stiff like a stockfish and told me that he didn’t want to show me the operators working.
He said: “Such a simple operation”
In fact there was nothing to see.
But there is a problem!
With my machine the operation is so simple and fast, that the robot takes more time to pick and leave the piece than to work it.
Instead, by manually working these pieces is like jumping into the abyss, but I would find this out only later on.
But let’s continue with my story
Having no chance to see the operators work, I asked to get some samples for testing and determine the cycle time.
Then I came back to my company full of samples.
Usually my father and I do the tests. One works, the other observes and notes the time. Usually my father works, but this time I took the initiative and acting on impulse I started to work the pieces.
To do the operation was simple. The whole had just to be deburred by means of a round file.
I took the file in the right hand and the piece in the left one and I began.
I didn’t wear gloves (don’t tell anyone), during the tests we have to feel the piece in our hand, feel how it reacts and feel the vibrations. By wearing gloves it’s impossible to get all the information I need.
Immediately I noticed some difficulties. The file I had to use didn’t enter completely into the workpiece and couldn’t deburr the whole, the file was too short.
I didn’t care so much about that.
After the first filing the file got stuck. I couldn’t see where it had got stuck because the hole was too deep and I couldn’t see exactly what was happening.
So I pulled the file back.
The I tried again with more strengh.
This time the file didn’t get stuck but I knocked my knuckles on the workpiece.
My hand was bleeding.
Luckily nothing irreparable.
But only then did I understand all the difficulties of that piece.
The piece presented the following difficulties:
- a deep hole to deburr
- low visibility of the work zone
- low accessibility of the work zone
- tight radiuses of the window to work
I bandaged my hand and my father finished the test.
We defined the cycle time for the robot.
When I did all the tests I went to the client with the offer of the machine and the cycle time of the tests we had done.
The client seeing my bandaged hand said: “ Here’s what I didn’t want to see in the department!”
Only after he told me that his operators had had the same problem and he didn’t want me to see how long they had taken working the piece and how many had a bandaged hand.
With the robot the advantages are clear for the following reasons:
- the robot does not need to see what it does
- the filing tool has great working power
- tapered off tools can better approach the piece
The robot doesn’t need to see what he is doing
Obviously, once you did the programme the robot repeats the same trajectory of work. Unlike a man, it does not need to see what it is doing.
It works in a precise and effective way.
Once the robot is programmed in a few seconds, the work is completed perfectly.
The operator must file the piece, stop, look, work it again and so on. He spends his time watching more than working. The robot does not see anything, it only works.
The filing tool has a great working power
The robot does not get tired so the filing tool can have huge power and can be really effective.
On the market there are filing tools for robots derived from manual ones.
But there is a problem!
These tools have a power equal to that of a man: their removal capacity is limited.
To make the difference I designed some really high performing tools. Compared to the ones you can find on the market mine have 10 times more power and a filing course 50% longer.
Unparalleled processing speed and precision.
Tapered tools which better approach the piece.
On my automatic filers I can mount the file and reach positions that you can’t get manually. I fix the file on the tapered spindle, a support which allows me to get closer to the piece.
I can work without problems with the same file which your operator uses with difficulty: I can easily approach the piece, I have the correct rigidity and reduce the filing time.
- Reduced filing time
- Reduced risks for the operator
- Improvement in delivery times
- Increased profits
Reduced filing time
I showed my client the cycle times, those I can guarantee him in the offer: those are half of what his best operator needs today.
As I said, the robot works, it doesn’t stop to see the pieces.
Now we can better evaluate the work time together. The robot is constant all day long. The operator depends on the hours of work and changes his performance accordingly.
Not all operators have the same rhythm. There is one who is 30% faster than another employee. Experience counts a lot.
The robot instead, regardless of everything, continues with its fixed cycle time.
Reduced risks for the operator
The operator doesn’t risk anymore to cut himself or bruise his hands, as happened to me.
He only needs to load the machine. He hasn’t to take anymore risks.
It’s a great relief for him, and for you a big saving of illness costs.
Improved delivery times
When the process depends so much on the ability of the operator, to know the exact delivery time is always a bet.
I would say that it is easier to play at bingo than guess when a production batch will be ready for delivery.
When you work manually, the pieces produced per day depend on many factors.
First of all it depends on the operator who is at the workstation, then on the operator, then on a possible injury.
If you put a faster operator next to a slower one, often the slower one gets faster (more frequently) the slower one also slows the faster one.
With my machine, you know how many pieces you can produce per day. Exactly.
You know the delivery date and nothing depends on the operator.
It’s clear that your profits will increase exponentially. You reduce the production time and you no longer need skilled operators.