How Trelleborg saved 765 hours in their production

Trelleborg Sealing Solutions is an international company that develops, manufactures, and delivers precision seals, bearings, and custom polymer components. They are among the world’s leading companies with research departments and production facilities worldwide.

In their production facilities in Denmark, they have 70 UR5 cobots to operate their CNC machines. The robots feed the CNC machines with material and Trelleborg wanted to optimize this process. In the fall of 2023, Trelleborg contacted PPS to find a solution to optimize their robots. This was to reduce the robots’ loading time and to create a consistent design for the robots, as the programming and various updates were not uniform across all robots. Therefore, the existing programs on the robots needed to be mapped out to identify areas in the process that could be optimized. Initially, the solution was to be tested on one robot.

PPS as a partner

When Trelleborg was to select a supplier, they actively sought a partner located nearby, as well as one with their own production facilities, for a solution to be tested before implementing it at Trelleborg.

Additionally, Trelleborg values a partner with strong technical expertise and reliable support. Reliability is a key factor as entering into a new partnership can often raise concerns about the timely delivery of solutions. There is also the risk of investing significant time in the design process only to learn that the supplier cannot deliver the solution until months later due to other projects.

It is a clear advantage for PPS that they have extensive resources in their facilities. This allows for quick mock-ups, enabling early assessment of whether an idea is viable or not.

Simon Qvick Nielsen
Automation Specialist

Trelleborg immediately felt prioritized by PPS and emphasizes the high level of transparency throughout the project, ensuring they were always informed about the project timeline. Trelleborg appreciated the ability to present an initial idea and then, through detailed guidance from and collaboration with PPS, arrive at the optimal solution, which even exceeded their expectations.

Trelleborg’s results

Trelleborg sought a solution to reduce loading time on their robots. After implementing the solution, they conducted a four-week test showing high performance and significantly faster loading times.

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Before optimization, the robot had a loading time of 50 seconds, which was reduced to 30 seconds post-optimization. This is equivalent to saving 765 hours a year[i]!

In addition to the obvious results of faster loading times, which was the result Trelleborg wanted, they also achieved other benefits. The optimization increased operator safety as the robot now moves at a lower speed when feeding materials to the CNC machine. “Our main focus was on achieving the fastest loading time possible to streamline production. But in addition to that, we have increased operator safety,” says Simon Qvick Nielsen, Automation Specialist at Trelleborg. Moreover, the operator now has better visibility of the robots, enabling quicker identification of any issues. On top of that, issues can be addressed while the machine is running, a capability they didn’t have before.

The solution provided by PPS has yielded such positive results that Trelleborg plans to optimize the remaining robots in production in the same manner.

[i] The saving of 765 hours per year is estimated for the entire robot cell of 8 robots and based on saving 20 seconds in each loading process, 4.5 days of work per week, 50 working weeks in a year, and adjusted for a 10% margin of uncertainty. Source: Simon Qvick Nielsen, Trelleborg.

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