“Michigan’s unemployment rate is 4% right now, it’s at a 10 year low, which is great for the economy - but trying to find employees to fill the positions we have - not many people want to work in manufacturing anymore, that’s a big issue.”
That’s what Doug Sanford, controls engineer at 21st Century Plastics, pin-points as the main reason for going into automation. This doesn’t come as a big surprise: labor shortage in manufacturing is a growing issue worldwide and very often the reason for exploring automation. 21st Century Plastics, a manufacturer of stadium seating, chose the Pickit M system for the assembly of armrests.
Watch our case study below or read on to discover how Pickit performs repetitive tasks, freeing up the operator’s time to do two jobs at once.
So what are the advantages of automation with Pickit, according to the people of 21st Century Plastics?
- An industrial robot and Pickit system can perform the repetitive, often boring tasks that employers in manufacturing can’t find any candidates for.
- There’s also a significant financial ROI, even though this wasn’t the main driver for going into automation. According to Doug’s calculations, the ROI is close to 5 months (provided that the robot is running 24 hours a day, 5 days a week).
- The set-up can run for 45 minutes unattended before the parts have to be replaced by one of the operators. This frees up a lot of time to do other tasks, like cutting parts, making labels or doing inventory.
- Not only is Pickit easy to use - it’s easy to set up as well. Doug did the whole set-up himself.
- Thanks to Pickit’s flexibility, the necessary machine changeovers - up to six a day! - are no problem at all. This flexibility is also needed because 21st Century Plastics produces all kinds of products in various quantities: they can do anything from 50 pieces up to millions of pieces for some products.
Do you also want to benefit from automating with Pickit?