Optimas Solutions, a global industrial manufacturer/distributor and supply chain solutions provider, has introduced Universal Robot’s UR10e robotic technology to its CNC machining operations. Now, cold heading and machining can be done onsite at Optimas’ Wood Dale manufacturing facility, making fastener production faster and more seamless for customers in HDT and transportation vehicles manufacturing.

Optimas has deployed the UR10e collaborative robot to simultaneously feed two CNCs that machine cold headed fasteners to customer specifications. The marrying of near-net cold forming and high tolerance machining enables Optimas to increase output with shorter cycle times and a lower carbon footprint of these processes.

“In addition to the two cold headers we added last year to meet onshoring demand, partnering robotics with our CNC machining really expands our capabilities in three ways for customers,” said Seina Savoji, vice president and general manager of manufacturing. “First, the dual action capability of the robot to feed and unload two CNC machines increases production dramatically. Second, we’re able to reduce the time and cost of using partners for certain types of machining to finish production. And third, it allows us to re-deploy operators to do more skilled work.”

In addition to the robotic arm, Optimas’ implementation includes an easy-to-use touch screen tablet with intuitive 3D visualization to set the robot arm for desired waypoints. It also includes two parts feeding rails to support the robotic arm for easy, operator-free loading of cold headed fasteners into the CNC machines. The new system is expected to increase output by 56.25% or from 576 to 900 parts per shift.

Optimas’ robot-enabled CNC machining has been programmed for one part type that is in extremely high demand now. The company plans to expand its capability to machine cold form parts up to 22 mm in diameter by 200 mm in length.

“This robotic technology gives us a competitive advantage by merging our complex, cold forming capabilities with automated, tight-tolerance machining in a single location. This saves time and costs associated with producing engineered components with superior strength characteristics,” said Daniel Harms, Optimas President, Americas. “ Optimas is the only fastener distributor with an end-to-end IATF-certified manufacturing operations that includes fastener engineering, tool and die, cold heading/threading, machining, and quality testing under one roof. As we drive our Forward Faster strategy by technological advancement and innovation, it allows us to address customer needs faster for high-capacity complex fastener solutions.”