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Automated deburring of aluminium components with KUKA's KR AGILUS robot

A KR AGILUS robot was successfully installed by Manders Automation at aluminium specialist ALUMERO FINEX Extrusions. The robot can work at different speed levels and from different angles and starting points. It ensures that every product is deburred accurately – and this at a considerable speed.

Specialist for tailor-made aluminium solutions focuses on quality 

The family business ALUMERO FINEX Extrusions B.V. from Helmond, Netherlands, is part of the Austrian Alumero Group. With more than 25 years of experience Alumero is a specialist in the aluminium market. FINEX focuses on specific aluminium precision of microprofiles with minimal tolerances and thin wall thicknesses. "We do not believe in standard solutions. Each customer has its own requirements and therefore tailor-made solutions are worked out for and, above all, together with the customer. For us, quality and service are just as important as quantity," says Jeroen van Bussel, Managing Director at ALUMERO FINEX Extrusions.

At FINEX they do not believe in standard but tailor-made solutions for each customer.

Automation solution with KUKA robot increases productivity and ensures quality

One of FINEX's customers is Secrid, a Dutch company  that focuses on pocketware and develops distinctive cardholders and wallets. This company has a decorative product with a unique Dutch-Made, A-Product market positioning and a strongly cohesive supply chain. For Secrid it is extremely important that the aluminium end profiles are completely measured, unique and high-quality deburred. "The demand for pocket ware is increasing and as this is an A-brand, maintaining the quality is extremely important, regardless of the volume," says Jerome van Bussel. In order to guarantee the same high quality at a higher volume, FINEX had to automate its production.

Flexible deburring cell with KUKA robot cuts the aluminum profile to the desired dimensions

At FINEX it was decided to have a specialized sawing machine and subsequent deburring cells with KUKA robots designed and installed by Manders Automation. This deburring cell contains a KR6 R900 AGILUS robot on which a vacuum cup is mounted. The robot works at different speed levels at different defined angles and starting points. The big advantage of the KUKA robot is that it has been programmed by FINEX and Manders Automation in such a way that it can also be adapted per profile and per robot cell according to the different customer needs.

The KR6 R900 AGILUS robot can be adjusted per profile and per robot cell.

Automation guarantees consistently high product quality 

The sawing machine saws the aluminium profile to the desired dimensions and via a conveyor belt this profile is then placed in the robot cell. The robot picks up the profile and ensures that both the inside and outside contours are carefully finished. After this, the robot places the profile again on the conveyor belt that brings them to the next stop. This production automation was necessary because FINEX always goes to great lengths to meet the needs of its customers. Thanks to the automation, FINEX is now able to increase its production capacity without having to sacrifice the quality; on the contrary: "Every product is now realized with the same high quality. In addition, automation offers added value by collecting data and thus creating synergy with the basic extrusion," says Jerome van Bussel.

KUKA industrial robots and employees work together

FINEX and Manders Automation respected an important condition regarding the automation: the automation had to harmonize well with the employees and contribute to a pleasant working environment. "The employees who used to be in charge of the repetitive production of the profiles have now been trained to be robot operators," says Jeroen van Bussel. The robots also generate a lot of data that gives the FINEX team feedback on the production process. This synergy is extremely important to FINEX. The KUKA robots and the employees must be able to perfectly cooperate with each other so that the production runs optimally and so that there is always room for improvement.
FINEX employees are now robot operators and the production has become very flexible.

A qualitative cooperation between man and robot was an important requirement for us in this automation project. The involvement of FINEX employees, the service of Manders Automation and KUKA and the training were all important elements".

Jeroen van Bussel, Managing Director at ALUMERO FINEX Extrusions

Easy automation expansion possible thanks to Manders Automation

Manders Automation has also gone beyond the current problem at FINEX. Together they looked to the future. The entire automation process has been designed in such a way that FINEX can expand its automation step by step in the future. For example, in the field of visual surface control there are still numerous possibilities and also for the entire process after extrusion all options are still open. So it was immediately clear to FINEX that Manders Automation was the best partner. They immediately understood the needs of FINEX. "People and robots have to form a synergy, they have to work together to achieve the best result," says Jeroen van Bussel.
FINEX can easily expand its automation in the future thanks to Manders Automation.

The solution Manders Automation developed in combination with their training and service offer gave FINEX a lot of confidence. FINEX is also very positive about their first experience with KUKA robots and the quality from an R&D trajectory. For companies without any robot knowledge, KUKA robots are very easy to learn to operate. This was certainly important for the personnel that had to be trained for this.

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