Toyota Cuts Costs, Minimizes Downtime with Robeye®
The following is an excerpt that was published in Toyota’s company newsletter
Innovative Processes to Eliminate Downtime
Robotic Vision Guidance
“Body shop often uses robots to pick parts straight out of a rack, but sometimes they fault or even crash because the cassettes (cartridges) holding those parts in place are imprecise,” said Otto Chiang, Senior Engineering Manager – BPE Tech Admin. “Every such system circulates dozens of cassettes, so it’s impractical to maintain high precision on all of them.”
Chad Bryant, Senior Engineer, BPE, was seeking to eliminate the downtime associated with those mis-picked parts across all NAMCs when he was introduced to Robot Vision Guidance, or “Robeye,” technology.
“We had looked at solutions such as additional fixturing at the pick location, kaizen of robot end-tool designs, and cassette maintenance initiatives. However, none of these methods are as effective and versatile as Robeye,” Bryant said.
When sourcing the current vendor, Bryant created a matrix to evaluate some of the top vision guidance companies and spent a year testing several key factors for each system to determine if the technology was feasible for Toyota to implement. Bryant said, “The Robeye technology proved to be the solution we needed.”
Chiang agrees. “Robeye technology allows material handling robots to detect and adapt to variation in part positioning, eliminating downtime from mis-picks more cost effectively than improving cassette precision,” he said.
The results are impressive. Robot vision guidance has resulted in 100% downtime reduction of crashes and mis-sets from cassette picking, which translates to 491 minutes of downtime eliminated in 6 months. There are currently 26 systems installed, 39 systems are planned for 2019 and 51 more are planned for future equipment.
Erica Haugen (TEMA), Senior Engineer, BPE, assisted Bryant installing Vision systems for material handling (matehan) tools into three areas of TMMK.
She, too, reports success with Robeye technology. “They reduce downtime by 95% in our preset station,” she said.
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