Cobots with Eyes – Case Study: How Talen Tools solved labour shortage with Pickit3D

We’re happy to share this hot off the press new Case Study by our Vision Partners, PickIt3D:

Recent studies show that 4.6 million manufacturing jobs will be created in the next decade in the US alone due to retirements and natural growth of the industry. However, many job-seekers aren’t interested in doing the repetitive and dull tasks they picture in manufacturing. Half of the vacancies are expected to stay unfilled due to lack to labourers skilled and willing to do these jobs.
The good news? There’s a solution!

Enter cobots with eyes
Take a collaborative robot, add a Pickit 3D vision system, and automate your production process. Let automation take over the dull and monotonous tasks and let your employees do the tasks that give them variation and satisfaction. This is exactly what the Dutch company Talen Tools did – the result? They doubled their production with half the workforce and improved employee happiness.

Less vacancies, more employee happiness
We paid a visit to their gardening tools factory and spoke to the Managing Director Roelof Talen and trusted technical advisor Lubbert Talen. A shortage of laborers was their primary reason for looking into automation and vision solutions. They struggled to find workers willing and able to do certain tasks and felt obliged to find an alternative. Moreover, the general manager is very clear: he wants his employees to feel happy and satisfied in their role and realises this is not always the case when they’re only doing repetitive and boring tasks.

High productivity and flexibility
By automating their production process, Talen Tools drastically increased their capacity and productivity. “We used to finish 400 broomsticks a day with 6 people in a high-pressure environment; after automating with Pickit, we now easily finish 1000 broomsticks with only 3 people that are experiencing less pressure and are generally happier in their place” said Managing Director Roelof Talen, who wants his employees to be content, but wants to see objective results as well.
Thanks to the flexibility of the Pickit product, Talen Tools can distinguish itself from its competition by being able to act quickly and change parts easily upon their clients’ requests. “This also makes it a good solution even for small batches,” according to the technical supervisor. Pickit uses 3D pictures instead of CAD models, which is also a plus for Talen Tools, since CAD models aren’t available for any of their parts.

Ease of use
The last advantage according to Technical Advisor Lubbert Talen is the overall ease of use of the Pickit vision system. “You can build very nice applications without much in-depth knowledge about vision. One of the strong points is the user interface. What you see is what you get. You don’t need code to program the system – you do it in a very intuitive, visual way and don’t need a highly educated technical programmer.” Lastly, Lubbert Talen praised Pickit’s great support using snapshots, stating he always gets a reply to his questions in 1-2 days.

Full article and video here