Headphone manufacturer doubles output through robots

Manufacturer of high-quality headphones, beyerdynamic, increased factory productivity by 50% thanks to automating its production processes.

Headphone manufacturer beyerdynamic was founded 1924 in Berlin – image courtesy of Pixabay.

A year ago, the German audio equipment manufacturer beyerdynamic aimed to increase factory floor productivity by 50% on a 4-year plan.

A requirement was, that this had to be done in the same production space, without compromising the brand’s highest quality standards.

The company’s production manager, Peter Härtel, said: “With the objective of establishing a really stable, high-quality process, automating some of our processes was the best way to increase production with the available space and staff.”

According to Härtel, three of the company’s main priorities in the conceptual phase were ease of use, affordability and simple programming. Therefore beyerdynamic decided to work with the manufacturer of collaborative robots Universal Robots.

One of the processes presenting a high automation potential was a glue spraying application.

Jörg Lang, manufacturing engineer, explained: “The speakers used in the headphones need to be refined acoustically by applying a medium.

“Up until now, this application was done manually by our employees. The medium is spread onto the speaker, directly onto the membrane with a brush.

“This process is naturally not safe or stable. There are fluctuations and robots could solve those issues. We divided the robot tasks in two categories: handling and spraying.”

Focusing on the output delivery time was key in the success of this automation project.

Peter Härtel recalls: “We started production in July 2017 and the production rate of this process has increased by 50%, which will have major impact on the business.

“The other major gain is on quality standards. We have the medium applied equally on each speaker, which improves our own quality index by 50% as well. This is only the beginning of our optimization goals.”