Robot to cut kitchen manufacturer’s welding time by 50%

Posted on 10 Aug 2017 by Jonny Williamson

Danish kitchen manufacturer, MVI Maskinfabrik, has invested in a new collaborative robot to increase its manufacturing flexibility and meet growing market demand.

The UR5 collaborative robot was reportedly cheaper than buying a new, dedicated welding robot - image courtesy of Universal Robots.
The UR5 collaborative robot was reportedly cheaper than buying a new, dedicated welding robot – image courtesy of Universal Robots.

MVI Maskinfabrik, originally specialised in small batch production with short lead times, reportedly wanted to increase its manufacturing flexibility to introduce new products, such as a new range of fittings for kitchen manufacturers, the wholesale market and general engineering applications.

The Danish manufacturer also started to receive larger orders and management was therefore faced with the decision whether to increase manpower to service them. The answer lay in a collaborative robot from the Danish manufacturer of smaller flexible industrial collaborative robot arms, Universal Robots (UR).

So far, the investment in a UR5 cobot has provided the increased capacity and flexibility the company needed. Integrated into the production line to replace an old welding robot, the cobot is four times smaller, far more flexible and has resulted in welding time being cut by 50%.

Jens Christian Lægsgaard, owner of the company, decided the UR5 cobot was just what he was looking for within 30 minutes of seeing the cobot in action.

According to Lægsgaard, the robot was subsequently  The UR5 was also cheaper than buying a new, dedicated welding robot.

A welding torch was mounted to the UR5 and, apart from a few hours of assistance from Universal Robots, Jens Christian Lægsgaard taught himself how to operate the robot arm.

In common with many other small businesses around the world, MVI Maskinfabrik, took advantage of the cobot’s intuitive programming and operation to get the device up and running in hours. And within days, the UR5 was MIG welding fittings in batches of 50 to several hundred.

Lægsgaard explained: “It takes about 15 – 20 minutes to programme the robot arm for simple welding jobs, more advanced jobs take a little longer.”

“Just now it has finished a batch of 100 with 14 welds per fitting. That job took around 1.5 hours to programme and the robot completed each fitting in 1.5 minute.  Manually it would probably have taken four minutes per part.”

He continued: “The robot ensures that no time is wasted.  It operates during the manual control and reworking of each item.  If I had to do the work manually, I wouldn’t be able to weld the new item and remove the high spots from the previous item at the same time.  Thanks to the UR robot I can save between 30% and 50% on working time per part by comparison with manual welding.”

The ability of the UR5 to increase productivity and with consistent accuracy has proved vital to MVI Maskinfabrik.  Not only has it allowed the company to produce quality-assured new products but also made it possible for it to accept larger orders without having to worry about manpower.

Jens Christian Lægsgaard summarises: “Our investment in Universal Robots has clearly increased our production capacity and turnover.  Without our UR5 I would have had to say no to lucrative orders.”

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