JAKA Cobots for LCD Panels Screwdriving
About the Company
An optoelectronics manufacturer and leading provider of smart vertical solutions backed by premium display technologies. The company has succeeded in earning worldwide recognition for its total solutions with its strong R&D capacity, solid manufacturing expertise, and comprehensive product portfolio to meet the diverse needs of the market.
During company’s production of LCD panels, there is one task that involves driving sixteen screws, in order to secure structural and functional components to one another. Previously, each workstation performing this task required two workers, across day and night shifts.
The company identified a few issues:
- First of all, given the repetitive nature of the task, it was difficult for staff to remain focused.
- Second, there was a high turnover of staff, meaning that time and money was frequently being spent on training new employees.
- Third, with the current epidemic situation, having a large flow of people, coming from various areas, placed the factory at risk of an outbreak, which would prove fatal to production.
- Finally, the safety of the workers was a concern, as the task presented some physical risk.
As a result of these factors combined, the company decided to seek out robotics solutions to automate the screwdriving task, freeing up workers for more creative, fulfilling, safe roles.
After consultation with JAKA, and with the help of a cobot integrator, the company chose eight units of the JAKA Zu 18 cobot to install.
They were chosen because of their high levels of safety, their ease of use, and their flexibility. The cobots were fitted with a vision system for reading mark points, and custom end effectors, each of which are capable of carrying and driving ten screws at a time.
The screwdriving process was automated in the following steps:
- First, the components to be screwed are received via the assembly line.
- Next, the cobot loads up on screws. It moves to the component and reads the first of two MARK points to determine the precise location of the holes, then proceeds to drive the ten screws.
As the whole task involves sixteen screws, and the end effector carries ten, once the first batch are complete, it loads up on screws again, returns to read the second MARK point, and completes the task.
- After completion, it informs the PLC, and the finished component automatically descends from the working area, out along the assembly line.
All of the challenges identified by the company in their initial evaluation of the task were overcome.
- Bills were saved on water and electricity, as there was no need to maintain the conditions necessary for human comfort during night shifts anymore.
- The decrease in physical tasks increased worker safety, and automation reduced the flow of people around the factory floor.
- The consistency of the cobots eliminated human error, meaning the quality of the products increased, leading to an increase in repeat customers.
- All in all, thanks to the screwdriving cobots, production capacity was increased by 50%, and the payback period was less than a year.
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