Ruland Manufacturing Chooses the Flexxbotics Solution for Advanced Robotic Machine Tending

Flexxbotics, delivering workcell digitalization for robot-driven manufacturing, today announced that Ruland Manufacturing Company, Inc. (Ruland), a precision manufacturer of high-performance shaft collars and couplings, has selected Flexxbotics for robot-driven manufacturing with autonomous process control in its FANUC RoboDrill workcells for “lights out” production operations.

The advanced robotic machine tending solution from Flexxbotics enables Ruland’s Universal Robots to communicate directly with the FANUC RoboDrill machinery and Renishaw inspection probes. The robots connect with the probes to inspect the part after machining and then make changes to account for tool wear and other factors enabling continuous operation and higher utilization. Flexxbotics provides the ability to dynamically change jobs in workcells producing more than 100 SKUs reducing the changeover time to 10 minutes from over an hour.

“One of the challenges we’ve had with previous automation projects has been the complexity of the robot to machine interfacing which Flexxbotics solves,” said Dustin Vinci, Engineering Manager of Ruland Manufacturing. “What’s great about the Flexxbotics solution is the complete coordination of our robots with our CNC machines and inspection equipment for direct feedback and autonomous adjustments enabling 24/7 production.”

Ruland selected Flexxbotics based on the following criteria:

  • In-line inspection for precision quality, 100% part coverage, and closed-loop optimization for uninterrupted production
  • Automatic configuration and program loading of the robots, CNC machines, and inspection equipment for each job
  • Dynamic changeover process for 100+ SKUs with only three (3) in-feed part presentation fixtures
  • Smart workflows with contextualized step-by-step instructions based on the CNC and robot’s status at failure for error resolution by technicians or operators
  • Open connectivity and interoperability between the robots, CNC controllers, and different inspection equipment, as well as, IT and business systems
  • Extensibility to numerous workcell configurations, inspection technologies, and machinery types including Haas and Brothers CNCs along with various dispensing machine options

Dustin Vinci continues, “With Flexxbotics we have achieved our 80% utilization goal for our FANUC RoboDrill cells in less than 90 days. The optimization process that Flexxbotics provides has been invaluable.”

Ruland, founded in 1937, is a precision manufacturer of high performing shaft collars, rigid couplings, and motion control couplings for applications including medical devices, robotics, machine tools, semiconductor, food and packaging.

Flexxbotics robotic workcell digitalization is the backbone of the smart factory delivering autonomous process control for next generation machining environments utilizing robotics. Flexxbotics breakthrough innovation, the unique FlexxCORE™ technology, seamlessly connects and coordinates robots with existing automation equipment, IT systems and people.

“We understand the complexity involved in transitioning to next generation machining operations and the necessity for advanced robotic machine tending,” said Tyler Bouchard, Flexxbotics CEO & Co-Founder. “What we’re doing at Flexxbotics is enabling the world’s most sophisticated smart factory environments to embrace robot-driven manufacturing at scale.”

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