Esse Engineering are an established master stove maker, producing high quality, hand-crafted cast iron stoves and cookers in the heart of Lancashire, since 1854. Esse models are often the heart of the home and the centrepiece to many houses with design and quality working hand in hand to produce pieces that last a lifetime.
Offline Robotic Programming
To maintain the highest quality standard the company assemble each stove by hand. However, in order to match demand the company were looking to make further investment into robotics, for the use of enamel application and the removal of cast iron flashings.
Using robotics in the Advanced Manufacturing Lab at UCLan’s Burnley campus, the DigitME2 project carried out research into company requirements and available solutions, before simulating methods of flash removal, providing Esse with a detailed research and cost analysis. This analysis provided information for a business case which concluded that further investment in robotics was not an optimum solution, and more economical use of resource would be in the redesign of castings. To supplement this, DigitME2 provided knowledge transfer to staff providing them with skills to use the companies existing robotics in an offline environment.
As a result of the knowledge transfer, the skills staff acquired allowed programs to be written in-house for new product models offline, which has led to removing the need to halt the production line, an easier mitigation of risk through offline simulation and a reduced deployment time for new product.
“We were very pleased to work with UCLan on this project and appreciate the assistance we received. We were impressed by the facilities and expertise, having previously been unaware of the extent of activities taking place at the Burnley Campus. We hope to extend the use of robotics within our manufacturing process during the next 12 months.” Martin Ashby, MD
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