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Tennplasco invests in Rethink Robotics’ Sawyer Robot and sees return in under four months

Tennplasco, a plastic injection molding company, says it solved its labor shortage and met its return on investment just three and a half months after integrating Rethink Robotics’ Sawyer into its Lafayette, Tennessee facility. 

The company says it has increased its productivity and efficiency, giving it a competitive advantage in the injection molding market. 

Danny Rose, general manager at Tennplasco, says: “Like many other manufacturers out there, we have been really struggling to get workers in our factory, especially on the off shifts.

“The truth is, there are not a lot of people in our area looking for injection molding jobs, and if we don’t have people showing up to work, we can’t operate.

“With Sawyer, we don’t have to worry about whether the shift will be staffed, and we can stop wasting our time and effort on trying to recruit nonexistent labor.”

Easy to deploy with minimal training necessary, Sawyer integrated seamlessly with Tennplasco employees and helped the team design a more efficient work cell.

Tennplasco uses Sawyer to deliver solutions and supply key manufacturing components to support the demanding, global automotive industry.

Sawyer is currently being used on the assembly line, helping to assemble and inspect automotive parts.

Automotive component productions such as sensors, defrosters and electronics are ideally suited for collaborative robots, and Tennplasco is one of many leading manufacturers using Sawyer for these types of tasks.

Rose says: “For small- to mid-size manufacturers, selling the CFO on the cost of deploying automation can be a challenge. Our team was willing to try it, and with Sawyer, we reached our ROI in just three and a half months.

“Our customers, especially those in the automotive industry, trust us to support their businesses and meet their changing needs, but to do this, we need both workers and the technology to be innovative and nimble – Sawyer has made that possible.”

Founded in 1985, Tennplasco, a division of Manar, offers plastic injection and molding services and plastic product solutions.

In the future, Tennplasco plans to deploy Sawyer on a variety of injection molding tasks on off shifts to further help solve the labor shortage they continuously face.

Jim Lawton, chief product and marketing officer at Rethink Robotics, says: “Globally, manufacturers are facing labor shortages. In fact, Deloitte projects a shortage of 2 million factory employees by the year 2025.

“Sawyer gives companies like Tennplasco the tools to stay innovative and competitive in a world where customers have changing needs, and manufacturers need to minimize uncertainty.”