When KOYO ELECTRONICS INDUSTRIES CO., LTD. experienced a surge in demand for its in-car touch panels, the manufacturer responded by reallocating workers away from manual post-production inspection tasks to address bottlenecks elsewhere. It was a decision that eventually led to skilled labor shortages on repetitive, end of line touch panel testing processes.
KOYO needed to deploy automation that can handle the range of forces suited to touchscreen inspection applications, can be deployed safely beside humans without the need for safety fencing and all in a compact form to avoid significant changes to existing lines. The company chose a Universal Robots UR3 cobot, which comes with built-in adjustable force mode capabilities, numerous safety features designed to enable safe human-robot collaboration, and a space-saving footprint.
Productivity increased 31%
The end results are superb: The UR3 deployment increased productivity at KOYO by 31%. The number of people required to handle touch panel inspection tasks was halved from two to one, freeing workers to focus on more ergonomic, higher value tasks, including cobot operation. And ROI was achieved in just twelve months.
When the UR3 touches the touch panel with a stylus and no errors are found, an “OK” message is displayed, and the green signal tower light is activated. If an abnormality is detected, an “NG” is displayed and the red signal tower is activated along with a continuous buzzer sound. As a result, the person in charge is immediately alerted to the abnormality and can respond.