Case Study

Storth Machinery Ltd

Universal Robot MIG Welding Solution
Storth is a slurry management company founded in 1999 that specialises in the development and sale of products suitable to the industrial, water and Anaerobic Digestion market sectors. They required a collaborative automated solution to help improve productivity and fill gaps created by a shortage of qualified welders.
The company initially struggled to find an integrator with the requisite skills and expertise in building turnkey robotic welding solutions. After going to market for a solution the company was quickly referred to Olympus Technologies based on the company’s experience and expertise in building turnkey robotic welding solutions.
The Challenge

Storth, like a lot of engineering companies, was struggling to find qualified welders, and the welders they had were spending too much time on basic and repetitive welding tasks that were a poor match for their skills and expertise. E.g. the production of scraper parts.

The company needed a solution that would enable it to increase its production and free up its human capital to focus on more interesting, higher margin work.

The Solution

Olympus designed a bespoke collaborative welding application built around a CB3. It is capable of performing a wide range of basic welding tasks. Olympus has customised how to operate the robot by creating intuitive screens capable of being used by any welder. The cobot has a reach of 1300mm and from the safety point of view, the solution is designed to operate safely in an existing welding booth. Each cell is accompanied by a risk analysis in order to guarantee safety and Storth’s solution ensures that welders are outside the booth before the robot starts welding. From the initial consultation it took just two months to be fully operational with existing staff trained to program the cobot. UR cobots require minimal training, and are adaptable enough to be reprogrammed and redeployed elsewhere in the production line, should the production needs change.

The Benefits

The results were instant. By reallocating staff away from basic welding tasks and on to specialist fabrication jobs, Storth was able to take on contracts with higher margins. It has gained an equivalent of two welders in production and the automated solution is producing twice the quantity of scraper parts that two staff were managing beforehand.

The cobot itself is very accessible and operators have found it easy to use. Operators can even quickly change the interface to their native language, simplifying on-boarding for international employees. Staff recruitment and retention has also been boosted as employees are now freed up to take on more interesting and varied work.

It’s a work in progress as we are just starting our automation journey, but we are really happy. Production has increased and all of our questions were resolved by Olympus support staff. The customer care has been excellent. Olympus Technologies’ gave our workers good training and excellent support throughout. The more we use the cobot, the more avenues we find that are worth exploring. We have since purchased a second cobot, mounted on a linear 7th axis, enabling larger parts to be welded.
Julian Lopez, Export Manager, Storth Machinery

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