ROBOTT-NET helped Assembled Electronic Solutions develop a flexible robotic cell
Assembled Electronic Solutions (AES) was established in 2009, initially designing and manufacturing electronic devices. The company has since expanded to cover the full product design from enclosures, electronics hardware and embedded software. AES is one of the 64 companies selected for a ROBOTT-NET robotics consultancy voucher.
The voucher project with AES focussed on the development of a flexible robotic assembly cell that can be used to process AES’ current range of products as well as any future products which they may develop.
The ultimate objective was being to enable AES to deliver increased volumes and meet the growing demand of larger projects, while keeping manufacture local.
- We applied for the voucher originally because we’ve identified that as the business grows, we need to look at different processes for manufacturing electronics.
- In small volume, a lot of the labour can be manual, but as we develop and particularly as the volumes for individual projects get bigger, we’re looking for automated processes. We have some already, but this project will take us to another level, explained Nigel Maris.
The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), one of the ROBOTT-NET partners and the lead partner on this voucher project, analysed the processes involved in producing AES’ current range of products. From that, a list of technologies was compiled and analysed to decide which would be most appropriate for each task.
The supporting partner on the project was Loop Technology, an automation integrator with experience in robotics who has worked with the MTC before on flexible robotic assembly cells.
- The work done with the voucher so far has enabled us to meet with the team at the MTC and their colleagues, and to get an understanding of what is technically possible with the automation processes.
- We already have automation at the front end of our process, manufacturing the electronic boards themselves. What we are looking for is expertise, which we have found through the voucher process, in the next stage which will allow us to then assemble the electronics.’ added Nigel Maris.
As part of the voucher project, the MTC developed a list of processes and technologies that could be implemented into the robotic assembly cell. From this list, the MTC engineers developed some CAD models and put together a model of what the cell may look like.
This gave Loop Technology something to base their pricing and development time on.
- The impact of the voucher and the project going forward, if we are successful with this, will be quite significant for the company.
- We’re in a transition stage where we are now starting to win larger projects with higher volumes, and the automation process, if we can implement it, will allow us then to deliver in volume and keep manufacture locally, which is something we are very keen on.’ concluded Nigel.