PHILIPS APPLIES ADEPT ROBOTS TO AUTOMATE CAPACITOR ASSEMBLY ‐ Adept robots are helping Philips Components to revitalise completely its capacitor production facility in Zwolle, the Netherlands. In an attempt to combat international competition, particularly from the Japanese, Philips has entirely redesigned both product and process to enable the whole range of capacitors to be produced in a single highly automated flexible facility. In this way, Philips hopes to overcome the competitive pressure that four or five years ago threatened the very existence of the plant. Says Hans de Vries, Manager of Mechanisation, “We were too expensive, the machinery was too old and the labour content was too high”. The modern plant he is currently installing could not be more automated. Based around 12 SCARA robots supplied by Californian robotics manufacturer Adept Technology, the plant can be operated round the clock with just three operators in attendance at all times.
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