Building machinery of the future today

Manufacturing is changing beyond recognition as technology pushes the boundaries of what can be achieved. In recent years, exceptional new products have revolutionised the sector, but not every product fits within a standard platform.

At KAON Automation we implement ground-breaking change by providing custom-designed automation solutions to leading manufacturing companies. We take standard components from the best suppliers on the market and build high-quality machines that integrate those components into manufacturing operations across the medical device, automotive and electronic sectors.

The work is complex, challenging and stimulating. Developing a use case for ACOPOStrak from B&R is a case in point. We recently integrated this flexible track system into the operations of a multinational healthcare company for the production of filled medical solution drip bags. The bags needed a connector attached and had to be filled with a solution to an accurate repeatable rate, then sealed and packaged at a rate of 80ppm.

The main requirement for the client was that the track system was completely flexible at every point in the process and suitable for use in a wet application. ACOPOStrak provides that flexibility, marking a seismic shift in a production process that had hitherto adhered to a fixed linear sequence. This scalable machinery allows manufacturing companies to merge and diverge product flows while providing the capacity for parallel processing and a reduced footprint.

As a result, our client has an agile and responsive manufacturing machine designed around their process rather than having to design their process around the limitations of machinery as was the case in the recent past.

When it goes live in December 2021, we will have worked with the client on transforming their operations from fully manual in 2018 to being fully automated and flexible. Essentially, we are building machinery of the future today, machinery that allows immense freedom in the manufacturing process.

We are now about to enter the build phase for a new green field manufacturing site where we will be using another new technology from B&R called ACOPOS6D in what is the first implementation of this transformative technology in Ireland. With ACOPOS6D, magnetic levitating shuttles move individual products through the machine, allowing swarm production and frequent changeover between products of varying designs and dimensions.

KAON will be showcasing ACOPOS6D at the National Manufacturing & Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition at the RDS in Dublin on November 23rd and 24th.

We currently have open positions for talented, motivated engineers in Sligo and Cork, so get in touch today if you are interested in working on the frontiers of what is possible in automation.

Increased output and OEE > 90%

ATS is at the forefront of improving productivity and making efficiency savings for the medical device industry.

This was demonstrated by the recent design and installation of a new machine which significantly increased productivity for ATS’s customer while also automating an existing manual process. To do this we were first user in the UK or Ireland of a new transport platform – SuperTrak.

SuperTrak, is from leading equipment manufacturer B&R.

Garreth Finlay, Sales Director at ATS, said: “The machine was to replace a 24/7 manual process with a fully automated process. In addition, the specification required the output to increase from 45 parts per minute to 75 parts per minute.

“We explored multiple solutions including fixed transport systems and modular linear systems. The chosen solution, however, was a track system built using the SuperTrak platform.”

The end result exceeded the client’s requirements and achieved an Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) in excess of 90 percent at FAT (Factory Acceptance Test).

Innovations Day

ATS presented the successful implementation of the SuperTrak solution at the B&R Innovations Day which took place at the Williams F1 Conference Centre in Oxfordshire and was attended by around 150 professionals in the machine building industry.

If you would like to know more about this solution and how it could potentially improve your company’s productivity, please contact us.

ABB announce new generation of industrial robots

Swiss based robotic manufacturer and ATS supplier, ABB is to launch a new generation of industrial robots designed to provide users with more flexibility and a better return on investment.

The new machines, due to be released before 2021, will replace most of ABB’s existing portfolio, and will double the size of the company’s range.  At the recent Automatica exhibition in Germany, ABB announced the new portfolio as well as several other developments, including:

  • a new generation of robot controllers with footprints 50% smaller than existing models;
  • the world’s first common interface for collaborative robots, developed jointly with Kawasaki;
  • a condition monitoring and diagnostics application that uses machine learning to detect behavioural anomalies in robots and offers guidance on predictive maintenance and optimisation;
  • the world’s first digitally connected paint atomiser that will allow car-makers to optimise robotic painting in real time, while reducing waste by 75% and compressed air consumption by 25%;
  • a single-arm version of its YuMi two-armed collaborative robot (cobot); and
  • its SafeMove 2 software which, it claims, can turn any robot into a cobot.

Industrial robot sales up 29 %

Global sales of industrial robots reach new record high.

Initial findings of the World Robotics Report 2018, published by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), show global sales of industrial robots reached the new record of 380,550 units in 2017.

That is an increase of 29 percent compared to the previous year. China saw the largest growth in demand for industrial robots, up 58 percent. Sales in the USA increased by 6 percent and in Germany by 8 percent compared to the previous year.

Broken down by industry, the automotive industry continues to lead global demand for industrial robots: In 2017, around 125,200 units were sold in this segment – equivalent to growth of 21 percent. The strongest growth sectors in 2017 were the metal industry (+54 percent), the electrical/electronics industry (+27 percent) and the food industry (+19 percent).

In the course of digitalisation, real production is becoming increasingly connected with the virtual data world, opening up completely new possibilities for analysis – right through to machine learning. Robots will acquire new skills through learning processes. At the same time, the industry is working to simplify the handling of robots. In the future industrial robots should be easier and faster to program using intuitive procedures. Such a technology is not only attractive to established users, but also to small and medium-sized companies, for example, companies who can use it to introduce automation without the need for highly experienced or expert personnel. This development also paves the way for the third major robotics trend: collaboration between humans and robots without protective barriers offers new approaches to new flexible production processes. In the future human-robot collaboration will support the flexible production of small quantities with high complexity.

Launch of Atlantic MedTech Cluster

ATS is one of eight indigenous MedTech specialist companies that have formed an innovative business cluster to promote Ireland as a global centre of excellence for the industry.

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Our Locations

Sligo
Unit 10
Rathrippon Business Park
Collooney, Sligo
Ireland, F91 HPP9

Cork
Unit 20
Euro Business Park
Little Island, Cork
Ireland, T45 CF10

Get in Touch

Kaon Automation Limited
Registered Address: 10 Rathrippon Business Park, Collooney, Co Sligo, F91 HPP9, Ireland.
Registered in Ireland. CRO number: 428472. VAT / EORI number: IE9577549D.

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