£750k investment reshores production

Suscom Industries, a supplier of components to the office furniture industry, stopped all manufacturing over 20 years ago after electing to offshore. Today, after an investment of £750,000, Suscom has reshored production of office chair bases back to the UK – more profitably and with greater control over stock and availability. Suscom is using two 600-tonne Romi presses, with product handling and the assembly of castors managed by three Kawasaki robots.
Kawasaki Robotics’ systems integrator, Evershed Robotics, was tasked with the design and installation of the complete cell, which was purpose-built around new tool designs. Cell control is managed through the Kawasaki robots’ integrated K-Logic PLCs, with each mould tool having its own control box to select the correct programme.
Both Romi presses are served by their own Kawasaki RS-20N robot, which picks the completed moulding and sprue from the mould ejector pins. The robot delivers the sprue to a granulator for recycling, and checks to ensure that the sprue is detached from the moulding.
Placing the chair base on to a cooling conveyor, the same Kawasaki robot then picks up a slip ring, delivered by a bowl feeder, which it assembles into the centre of the moulding.
Each Romi press has its own conveyor delivering mouldings to a single Kawasaki RS-50N robot. This third robot unloads chair bases from the cooling conveyors and places them firstly into a turnover jig, and then into a castor assembly cell. After moving to a check point that confirms the correct size has been picked, the robot presses the castor into one of five location points.
On completion of castor assembly, the robot picks up the assembled base and places it on to another conveyor.
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