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RoboJob makes successful entry into France


Published on

May 23, 2016

Early in April, RoboJob took part in a trade fair in France for the first time, the Salon de l’Industrie. It was the first step towards a new market for the Belgian CNC automation specialist. Somewhat over a month later, one may already speak of an exceptionally good start, because of the significant interest and demand.

Industrie 4.0

France is one of Europe’s largest industrial countries. As in many other Western European countries, French suppliers are also experiencing increasing pressure on their profitability. This pressure is partly fed by high labour costs and the after effects of a global economic crisis that has also had an affect here. Structural changes in the Supply Chain and the focus on high costs of inventories have also led to a reduction in the size of orders with suppliers in France.

However, French companies are not resigning themselves to the situation. The Industrie 4.0 principle – with up-to-date and flexible automation, exchange of data and modern production techniques as mainstays – is also seeing a lot of imitation, with this also playing into RoboJob’s hands. The Belgian market leader in CNC automation has experienced significant growth since they started, not only in the Benelux but also in Germany, Switzerland and Great Britain. Since the première of RoboJob at the Salon the l’Industrie in Paris, the automation specialist can also talk of a successful start here in France.

High wage costs, declining batch sizes and a difficult search for skilled CNC operators: it’s a story known throughout Western Europe with France being no exception. However, RoboJob is now offering French suppliers a solution for dealing with these challenges. “Moreover,” says co-founder and business manager, Helmut De Roovere, “French companies are even more compelled to deal with technology in a highly intelligent way. The wage costs are so high in France that new technology and innovation is the only way to compete against international competition. We’re already noticing - barely a month after the Salon de l'Industrie - that demand for our solutions is very high.”

Customised automation

These solutions are already known in the Benelux for their accessibility, ease of use and broad applicability. The Turn-Assist Series – for the automation of CNC lathes and grinding machines, and also turning/milling combinations – and the Mill-Assist Series – for the automation of milling machines – have now grown to become the standard in CNC automation. These integrated solutions can be applied to products of various sizes (standard diameter up to 400 mm), and weights (up to 700 kg). At the Techni-Show in March 2016, RoboJob also launched two new standard systems, focusing on larger and more complex series: the Turn-Assist Racks and the Mill-Assist Racks. In contrast to the other products, it’s not the workpieces, but the workpiece carriers that are stacked. The robot builds as it were, towers of ‘racks’, where the workpieces are positioned in insert trays. With this RoboJob is also meeting the demand to automate complex workpieces, such as castings.

“Of course we realize only too well that not all needs of all customers are the same," says De Roovere. “That’s why we’ve been working hard in recent years to add all sorts of extensions and options. We usually develop on demand, and often together with our customers. For example: with our Revolving unit we have the opportunity to turn workpieces round so that they can be completely processed on a machine with 1 spindle. In addition, loading can be done from a pallet and unloading also to a pallet; we provide standard solutions for the processing of shafts, and also an integrated Airblow for blowing the workpieces clean, and the chuck. Using these modular building blocks, our customers have the opportunity to develop customised automation according to their needs, while, moreover, the costs can be spread over time.

First installations already completed

The solutions from RoboJob appear to be catching on well in France. First installations have indeed already been completed. “Indeed,” says an enthusiastic De Roovere, “there was even a customer who immediately ordered 3 systems in one go! That will obviously be the exception, but it shows that French suppliers have also taken on board the fact that CNC automation can further increase their output, flexibility and efficiency. It’s up to us to assist them in this.”

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