Stenner Pump Company, a maker of water treatment pumps, tanks, injection systems and more, is leveraging Rethink Robotics’ two-armed Baxter robot in its manufacturing plant in Jacksonville, Fla. to increase flexibility and efficiency, allowing for quicker product development and delivery.
The team at Stenner Pump is deploying Baxter in a production cell to complete two tasks using each arm simultaneously. Baxter uses one arm to package and place finished parts from an injection molding machine into a bagging machine for final production.
Using the other arm, Baxter begins a three-step machine tending and assembly task by placing a strainer into a fixture and ensuring proper part orientation. Baxter then places a weight into the strainer and waits for the lid to be pressed on to the strainer; finally, the robot removes the finished part and places it into a bin of finished products.
“The efficiency of our pump manufacturing process allows us to maintain a three day lead time and 98 percent on-time delivery for our customers,” said Dennis Neibrook, director of engineering at Stenner Pump. “When we first implemented Baxter on the factory floor, we were surprised by how easy the robot was to program compared to traditional robots that use older technology. As a low-volume, high-mix manufacturer, Baxter’s ability to handle a variety of parts and products is invaluable.”
Stenner Pump was founded in 1957 to make pumps that were used for accurate dosing of chlorination for swimming pools. Today, Stenner manufactures and distributes reliable, high-quality peristaltic metering pumps, tank systems and injection systems for a range of different industries, from agricultural to industrial to food and beverage.
“Traditionally, manufacturers with low-volume, high-mix operations have been unable to justify the cost of automation in their facilities,” said Jim Lawton, chief product and marketing officer at Rethink Robotics. “Now, companies like Stenner Pump are effectively achieving their automation goals by using our smart, collaborative robots that can work in variable manufacturing environments to meet customer demands.”