Wesbart UK Ltd, a family run company founded in 1979, are experts in designing and manufacturing storage systems for laboratories, hospitals, universities and the pharmaceutical industry. Their large product range includes aluminium and stainless-steel storage systems and laboratory consumables.
The firm’s client portfolio spans the globe and recent increases in demand prompted the manufacturer to explore robotic process automation as a means to support process optimisation and product quality considerations.
Wesbart UK Ltd were looking for assistance to add robotic automation to their factory. With the main aims of increasing the capacity of the factory and maintain high levels of quality needed for the pharmaceutical industry.
The application that Wesbart UK Ltd were looking to automate was the tending and operation of two Bystronic press brakes being used to fold the extensive range of products needed for the Covid-19 vaccination programme such as freezer racks and trays.
Most brake press cells with robotic automation are designed to fold small steel parts, which are stacked within the brake press cell itself. This makes it easier for robots to operate but limits the usefulness of for the automation itself. Due to the extensive range of parts being produced by Wesbart Ltd, the standard brake press (with robotic automation) solutions on the market were not capable of folding the full range of parts.
Wesbart UK Ltd had a vision of what they wanted to achieve but without the knowledge or expertise pertaining to robotics and automation were not able to execute successful project delivery without the support of an external integrator. Which is where ICS came on board, designing and delivering a complete turnkey solution, according to Wesbart’ specific operational requirements.
ICS Robotics & Automation Ltd were engaged to develop a custom solution capable of folding the complete range of Wesbart UK Ltd components. The current Wesbart UK Ltd CNC punching process meant that parts became the lightly oiled and were not able to be stacked. Therefore, an infeed and outfeed solution using conveyors and a vision system was developed to ensure sufficient buffering was achieved and parts were not damaged by avoiding the traditional mechanical chute in a pallet box.
ICS Robotics & Automation Ltd developed the interface between the Bystronic press brakes and the Kuka robots to allow for a full automatic control of the brake presses in a safety interlocked system. The system was designed such that one of the press brakes can be used as a manual operation while the remainder of the machine is utilised in full automatic mode.
ICS Robotics & Automation Ltd provided the full Turnkey solution which included full training to cover robot programming, vision training and overall system operation. Full on-site commissioning and support was also provided with remote support utilising the VPN connection to the system also included to allow ICS Robotics and Automation Ltd to provide timely breakdown and support services.
"Excellent service from start to finish from ICS, they understood our requirements and designed a bespoke solution that has hugely benefited the company. We would certainly recommend ICS and will work with them again in the future."
- David Patey - Sales Executive Wesbart