Friday, March 19, 2010

Costs cut for kits

An innovative solution, from Parker Hannifin looks set to help struggling British manufacturers cut the cost of production while at the same time improving both productivity and profitability.

The company has launched an extensive range of modular automation and robotics kits, ranging from simple twin axis assemblies through to integrated multiple axis gantry and palletising robots. In addition, Parker is offering a custom design and engineering facility for applications where standard systems are unsuitable.

UK Platform Marketing Manager, Andy Parker-Bates, explains that, “This new approach has the potential to revolutionise the way in which many automation systems are developed and used. Perhaps as importantly, our new range of modular automation kits will enable customers to cost-justify the automation of existing low-volume manual or semi-automated processes, enabling labour to be redeployed elsewhere.

"Unlike traditional methods of building modular systems our new modular automation kits are generally available on a relatively short lead-time and are designed for self-assembly on-site either by the customer or, if required, our engineering team.”

A typical modular automation kit incorporates all the components, including framework, motors, gearboxes, drives, sensors and cables to construct a simple linear handling system. This can easily be extended through the addition of extra modules, while increasingly complex multiple axis gantry, assembly or packaging systems with a sophisticated control infrastructure, can be constructed quickly and cost-effectively, either on-site or at one of Parker’s factories for delivery as a pre-configured and fully tested system.

Andy Parker-Bates adds, “For customers, the advantage of using our modular automation kits include the ability to build complete systems or sub-systems quickly and at relatively low cost, without the need for specialised engineering or the associated downtime while production lines are being modified. Additionally, for customised systems, we are able to provide a full design facility as part of the overall package, giving customers access to our resources and expertise at sites around the world”.

Based on standard Parker electromechanical, pneumatic, drive and control technologies, the latest range of modular automation kits are capable of delivering exceptionally high levels of performance, accuracy and reliability. For example, speeds of up to 5m/sec are possible over extended stroke lengths, with precision and repeatability typically to within plus or minus 0.05mm, with load handling up to 1,600kg.

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