For over 40 years, SOVAIC has specialized in the design and manufacturing of semi-finished plastic products. The company employs 40 people in the Somme department. SOVAIC has a modern machine park there, which is engaged in the development of technical industrial components of high-tech plastic products. SOVAIC regularly invests in its machines, including in automation.
Franck Legrand, Technical Manager: «As a company, we have to evolve according to the needs of our customers. We notice that we’re making more and more different components for our customers, but in increasingly smaller numbers. It then becomes of key importance to be able to adjust our machines quickly, but the output of each machine too is becoming increasingly important. The spindle is idle during the changeover, and we have to avoid that as much as possible. That’s why we decided to automate our machinery. We took the first step 3 years ago when we started looking for our first robot.
Through our machine supplier, Degomme-Boccard, we came into contact with RoboJob. We got to know their products and were highly impressed with the operation of their robots. This is always extremely easy and quick to set up. This is key for us, as we have to be able to switch quickly from one series to the other. In addition, we can somewhat relieve the physical work of our operators and improve their ergonomic working conditions.
We decided to automate our Mazak Integrex IV with a RoboJob Turn-Assist 250. Although this machine was a little older, it was already equipped with an automatic door and robot interface. The installation in May 2017 therefore went smoothly. In less than a week the robot was already up and running and our people were trained. They could immediately experience how easy the robot is to use.
Since then, the Turn-Assist has been fully integrated into the machine park and into our processes. The operators like to work with it and use it as much as possible, both during the day, at night and during the weekend. We notice that we’ve not only increased the output on the Integrex but we’ve improved the ergonomics for our operators. We also have less damage to our components because they’re unloaded by the robot. Since we work with plastic, it’s not easy to avoid damage, but using the Turn-Assist we succeed perfectly. There will certainly be a few more robots added in the coming years! »