Robotics: The Next Evolution in Flexible Manufacturing

An increasing number of manufacturers are under pressure to produce outstanding products and reduce their costs in a competitive market. Often, these pressures are intensified in a company of global scale. As a result, new ways of thinking thrive. These range from the adoption of Industrial IoT technologies to the implementation of robotics. The application of robotics provides greater flexibility in industries which have not traditionally used robotic production lines.

Our latest project is hosted in a state-of-the-art facility based in Huangdao, China. Producing a washing machine cabinet every sixteen seconds, it’s expected that the line will manufacture more than 1.5 million each year. This combination of quantity, efficiency and variability shows automation to be transforming the manufacturing industry, in what many refer to as Industry 4.0.

Facteon’s commitment to innovation has cemented its international reputation in deploying customised, automated factory solutions. To improve product quality and decrease labour costs, our offerings increasingly utilise robots to perform tasks that would’ve traditionally been completed by dedicated production machinery, or manually by people. As with all Facteon lines, it was designed and built in-house, as part of Facteon’s turn-key service, and installed on-site by highly skilled installation professionals.

 

 

Flexible & Intelligent Robotics

The line begins by processing a stack of pre-painted steel sheets. These are presented at the infeed to the press transfer line before moving to the assembly line. The pressed sheets then pass through seven stations staffed by robots. Sixteen seconds later, a robust and elegant washing machine cabinet is complete. This line serves as an exemplar of the intelligent automation techniques transforming the manufacturing sector. In utilising robots, labour costs and operational agility is increased. 

 

Multiple Models for Superior Machine ROI

The line is designed to produce thirteen different washing machine cabinet models. Customers have the flexibility to reconfigure the line to produce additional styles as required. The line is also capable of producing dishwasher, refrigerator and freezer cabinets – meaning a customer can deploy the same base equipment into multiple factories. This is driven by Facteon’s commitment to creating future-proof factory solutions. You’ll have the flexibility to adapt your operations in response to market demand. The machine footprint is also minimised as you utilise one versatile machine, rather than employing a range of product and model-specific lines.

 

Industrial IoT Connectivity to Supercharge Efficiency 

To complement a diverse and adaptable machinery offering, Facteon has developed COSMOline. It’s a cloud-based, SaaS, Industrial IoT tool that allows you to leverage the power of production data. COSMOline is suitable for manufacturers of all sizes. Its modular structure allows you to take in as little or as much information as you’d like. The software has been developed in-house and is intrinsic to the value of Facteon’s production lines. It ensures maximum efficiency and visibility throughout the manufacturing process.

 

Consulting Services to Help Make Sense of Industrial IoT

It's common knowledge among manufacturers that Industrial IoT will influence competitiveness in the future. Our consulting services help you pragmatically apply these technologies in ways that make sense for robust and practical Industrial IoT solutions to facilitate informed decision making. Operators can then use tools such as COSMOline to improve machine health, maximise efficiency and reduce downtime, turning their operations into a competitive advantage.

 

Choose a Partner with Manufacturing Heritage

Facteon was founded in 1981 as the internal engineering division of Fisher & Paykel Appliances, a highly innovative and long-established organisation. It’s this pedigree that gives Facteon a competitive edge. Practices central to Industry 4.0 – such as flexible and customisable production lines – have been a major part of Facteon’s manufacturing processes for decades.

Facteon’s commitment to providing outstanding production lines is driven by a passion for engineering and highly specialised areas such as robotics, software and intelligent manufacturing. Facteon aims to provide its customers with world-class, highly customised machinery that enables the delivery of reliable, durable and quality products. 

Nathan Soich

Nathan Soich

Marketing & New Ventures Manager

Nathan has a background in technology and export marketing for a range of global B2B organisations. He holds responsibility for Facteon's marketing operations and strategy, working closely with our Business Development team across various markets. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing and Management from University of Otago.