Sülkar Metal: Robotic Systems will Achieve a Significant Breakthrough in the Manufacturing
Investments in robotic systems in our country’s metal working industry show a substantial increase in recent years. Robotics applications that are well-known in relatively large enterprises become popular in small family businesses, which is particularly important for the Turkish manufacturing industry… Machine feeding robot which is developed by Sülkar Metal under the partnership of TEZMAKSAN was the unique step to draw attention to the topic. We met with two pioneers of this investment, Recep Süleymanoğlu, Company Partner of Sülkar Metal and Tayfun Arduran, Technical Services Manager of TEZMAKSAN.
We would like to listen to the robotic application implemented in Sülkar Metal also from TEZMAKSAN. Could you tell us what was done, how did the process work?
Technical Services Manager of Tezmaksan Tayfun Ayduran: As TEZMAKSAN, previously, we didn’t sell a machine to Sülkar Metal. Our first commercial relationship is by means of this project. The robot was included in this project as an essential component of the system and was supplied by Fanuc. We can say that "Standard and mass production in Sülkar Metal eased our job". Thousands of pieces of the same part are produced, and this is a continuous production. In this way, many aspects on the robot from "grippers" to programming can be standardized. The company's emphasis on quality has enabled the robot to be adopted much faster. This made our job even easier. Although we are talking about a period of only a few weeks, I can say that we have proceeded significantly. We will take this process further with some more improvements. The application we have implemented is the first in our region. This situation is advantageous but also disadvantageous. Of course, we confronted some negative comments and expressions… But since the company was certain to invest in robots, I can even say that "negative evaluations was motivating for Sülkar Metal".
For sure, we have been making evaluations and calculations from the very beginning. However, we will be able to say exactly what will these calculations actually produce within six to seven months. Because during this period we will be able to see the gain of the company from this investment. For example, they increased their capacity without changing the number of employees. This increase will continue for a while. It will reach to the top level in the coming months when operators gain experience after they become more familiar with the robot and learn the system. In this way, we will be able to see exactly what the robot adds to the business. In the beginning, we calculated that the robot can easily depreciate itself in about one year with the benefits it brought.
Despite a short time spent, what can you say about the contributions of the robot to Sülkar Metal?
Company Partner of Sülkar Metal, Recep Süleymanoğlu: Robots have a significant contribution to the quality. In other words, robots have improved our quality. This is a very important point that we should always focus on. Because the essential point for manufacturing companies to sell their products, compete with the world, and establish themselves is quality manufacturing. I would like to clarify the quality issue here. For companies that use same methods on part processing, first thing in product quality is the machine you use. More your machine runs a sensitive and quality operation, higher your products are in quality. That is why robots don’t contribute to the product quality at this stage. The main contribution is provided by the operator who can perform more reliable quality control as workload is less. Previously operator, who was dealing with tasks such as feeding the machine, taking out the products, checking them, and sometimes doing necessary cleaning, can now devote more time and energy to control of product quality, as some of these are performed by the robot. Besides, since robots are more sensitive compared to a human, our operator pays more attention if any mistake happens and they will miss it. Other than these, robot helps us to use time more efficiently. As I mentioned, our current working hours are scheduled as a single shift and every moment of these hours from starting of shift to the end is invaluable to us. Robots can work continuously and without a break, without any change in method and content of the manufacturing. I should also mention that current robotics application saves us space.