b'\x1b\x1a\x19 \x1f\x18\x1d\x17\x16Cobotics CornerMAXIMIZE EXISTING RESOURCESBy Craig ZoberisA s manufacturing demand con-tinues to be volatile, it has re-sulted in constantly growing labor and material costs, causing man-ufacturers to become leaner and more flexible to stay competitive and profitably capture demand. To unlock more capacity without nec-essarily hiring experienced machin-ists or buying machinery, opera-tional leaders increasingly are look-ing to maximize existing employees and equipment.For manufacturers that have high-mix, low-volume operations, pro-duction targets often are not met because of lost capacity in setups, changeovers and loading parts. Ma-chine utilization on average is often close to 25% in such operations instead of the 60% to 70% uptime that most manufacturers assume, and this is a hidden loss that is hard to quantify without having true vis-ibility into the shop floor. Many of our robot integration installationsthis information on the shop floor have been for data-driven manufac- Robot make: Universal Robots USA Inc. frequently boosts productivity and turers that look to objectively keepRobot model: UR5e machine uptime. A lot of shops also track of operations and strategicallyEnd-of-arm tool: Schunk three-fingerlearn from their data that machinists invest in technological and processgripper often are held back from running improvements. CNC machine make: Haas Automation Inc. machines through no fault of their To truly understand operationalCNC machine model: SL-20 own, like waiting for inspections or reality, leading manufacturers useCNC machine year built: 2018 materials or loading parts.tools like machine monitoring toShifts per day: 1.5 While processes and communi-create an accurate, real-time base- Shifts per week: five cation changes solve many bottle-line of operations so manufacturersProductivity increase: 41% necks caused by various depart-can use these levers to consistentlyments, machinists clearly cannot meet goals for production, as welldevote time to higher-skilled tasks, as quality, cost and delivery. Onetrical heartbeats of machines intosuch as programming and setting solution that many of our custom- overall equipment effectivenessup jobs, when machinists need to ers use to track machine data ismetrics and works with any kind ofmanually load parts. By quantifying Chicago-based Amper Technolo- machine that uses electricity, fromthe downtime caused by loading gies Inc., which translates the elec- saws to CNCs. Simply visualizingand unloading and analyzing the 12JUNE 2021 CoboticsCorner.indd 12 5/14/21 3:45 PM'