Optimas has deployed a UR10e collaborative robot to simultaneously feed two CNC machining systems that machine cold-headed fasteners to customer specifications. (Photo courtesy Optimas Solutions)

Optimas Solutions boosted throughput and reduced production time by combining cold heading and robotic-enabled machining at its Illinois facility

February 22, 2022

WOOD DALE, Ill.—By integrating Universal Robot’s UR10e robotic technology into its CNC machining operations, Optimas Solutions has made fastener production faster. The global industrial manufacturer can now provide cold heading and machining onsite at its Wood Dale manufacturing facility, Optimas said in a release.

Optimas has deployed the UR10e collaborative robot to simultaneously feed two CNCs that machine cold-headed fasteners to customer specifications. The marrying of near-net cold forming and high-tolerance machining at its Wood Dale manufacturing facility enables Optimas to increase output with shorter cycle times and a lower carbon footprint of these processes, the company said.

“In addition to the two cold headers we added last year to meet onshoring demand, partnering robotics with our CNC machining really expands our capabilities in three ways for customers,”  said Seina Savoji, vice president and general manager of manufacturing, in the release. “First, the dual-action capability of the robot to feed and unload two CNC machines increases production dramatically. Second, we’re able to reduce the time and cost of using partners for certain types of machining to finish production. And third, it allows us to re-deploy operators to do more skilled work.”

Along with the robotic arm, Optimas implemented an easy-to-use touchscreen tablet with intuitive 3D visualization to set the robot arm for desired waypoints. Two parts-feeding rails support the robotic arm for easy, operator-free loading of cold headed fasteners into the CNC machines. The new system is expected to increase output by 56.25 percent, from  576 to 900 parts per shift, according to Optimas.

The company programmed its robot-enabled CNC machining for one part type that is in extremely high demand now. Optimas said that it plans to expand its capability to machine cold-form parts up to 22mm in diameter by 200mm in length.

“This robotic technology gives us a competitive advantage by merging our complex, cold forming capabilities with automated, tight-tolerance machining in a single location,” said Daniel Harms, president, Optimas Americas, in the release. “This saves time and costs associated with producing engineered components with superior strength characteristics.”

Harms said that Optimas is the only fastener distributor with end-to-end IATF-certified manufacturing operations that include fastener engineering, tool and die, cold heading and threading, machining, and quality testing under one roof. “As we drive our Forward Faster strategy by technological advancement and innovation, it allows us to address customer needs faster for high-capacity complex fastener solutions,” he said.

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