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GÖPEL improves quality control in automotive manufacturing with Universal Robots

Using the UR10e, the company says it has eliminated the tedious and physically taxing tests manually conducted by employees

Universal Robots says GÖPEL electronic, a manufacturer of testing and inspection systems for electronic assemblies and printed circuit boards, has developed a revolutionary, automated quality control system for its automotive customers using its UR10e cobot.

According to Thomas Schöppe, senior team manager at GÖPEL electronic, the cobot replaces the company’s manual and cumbersome end of line seating test system. He says: “Previously, our employees have to simulate the vehicle-driver interaction.

For example, pressing the seat’s buttons and switches to measure the voltage or current. This process could often result in production errors which proved costly further down the manufacturing line.

Beyond this, defects could be catastrophic to our brand reputation but more importantly, put our customers at risk.

Schöppe says: “The UR10e takes over this tedious and extremely taxing process. The 6-axis cobot arm is capable of reaching all the switches and buttons, and executing all motions with the same force as a human operator.

“This level of consistency has proven instrumental in improving our quality control system and guarantees that products leaving the manufacturing area are in top condition.”

Based on this result, GÖPEL electronic has designed a custom-made quality control system for its customers which can be integrated into existing systems.

The UR10e is an integral component and ensures that car seats are produced to the highest standard and adhere to every regulation.

Philipp Kießlich-Köcher, application engineer at GÖPEL electronic, says: “We spent several years exploring robotics options although, due to the irregular shape and design of most car seats, it was difficult to find a suitable industrial robot articulate enough to complete the task performed by skilled workers.

“Offering one the longest arm reach from the e-Series, the UR10e overcame this issue. It also includes a force sensor system that monitors the robot’s movements. Unlike our human workforce, the cobot can work 24 hours a day, without breaks or interruptions – which frees up employees to focus on more rewarding tasks.”

Helmut Schmid, managing director of Universal Robots (Germany) and regional sales director for Western and Northern Europe at Universal Robots, says: “As GÖPEL electronic demonstrates, our cobots offer flexibility to help overcome a wide range of traditional manufacturing issues.

“This is because our cobots can be used as an ‘out of the box’ solution for common applications, but can also be specifically programmed to take on more specialised, and intricate, tasks such as those at GÖPEL electronic which not only enhances employee safety but job satisfaction too.

“Given the skills shortage in the automotive industry, organisations can struggle to maintain high-standard with a depleting pool or talent. So, it’s important that companies can quickly counter this manpower shortage by quickly integrating elements of automation into their existing production line.”

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