Vietnamese quartz plant improves quality and cuts cycle time by 80 percent with ABB robots

Vietnamese quartz plant improves quality and cuts cycle time by 80 percent with ABB robots

Summary

The challenge
Workers involved in the manufacturing of quartz based products were handling high temperature heat treatment processes, with a high risk of accidents and production errors that were impacting on product quality  

The solution
ABB robots at the company’s plant in Hue in Vietnam handle the heat treatment process to ensure products are finished to the highest quality whilst safeguarding workers.  

The application
A handling robot picks up the quartz components while another heat treats them evenly before the moulding stage. The handling robot then removes the finished product and replaces it with the next.

Improved safety and performance delivered by ABB robots have transformed productivity at America Quartz Technology’s Vietnam factory, cutting cycle times by 80 percent and reducing production errors by a factor of five.   

America Quartz Technology (AQT) specializes in the manufacturing and processing of formed quartz products for the electronics and semiconductor industries at its plant in Hue, Vietnam. The production of AQT's products demands the highest level of meticulousness and accuracy.  

Previously, components were processed manually, with workers perfoming high temperature heating processes. This dangerous and repetitive work meant that staff turnover was high, with an increased risk of accidents. There was also the risk of errors that could lead to serious production losses.  

To solve these challenges, AQT decided it needed a robotics automation solution that would avoid labor shortages, reduce risk and improve productivity.  

The ABB solution

Having used ABB robots at its plants in the US, AQT approached ABB for a solution for its Hue plant. The result is a robot production cell consisting of an ABB IRB4600 industrial robot, an IRB2600 industrial robot and a moulding machine.  

The ABB IRB4600 picks up the quartz workpiece and places it into position for the heat treatment process. Following this, the IRB2600 robot heats the workpiece evenly.  Then, the cylinder mechanism sucks the heated quartz plate into the mould and shapes it. After 30 seconds, the vacuum valve shuts off, and the IRB 4600 robot removes the product and repeats the cycle.

Improved quality and faster production

Since the introduction of the robots, plant efficiency and performance has been significantly improved,  with five times fewer defective products due to production errors.  

“Using the solution provided by ABB, our products are now consistently completed to the highest quality, with less manual intervention required and a reduction in errors. Conditions have also improved for workers as all of the dangerous and repetitive work is now taken care of by the robots,” said Mr. Tran Phuoc Thanh Vu, Factory Manager, America Quartz Technology.

Another improvement has been a dramatic reduction in production cycle times. With the robotic process, production time has been reduced from 25 to just five minutes, with a current average output of 100 pieces a day, a fourfold increase on the previous manually-based production process.  

“The solution brings enormous value to the plant – it improves production capacity, ensures on time delivery of customer orders and offers high stability during the production process“ said Mr. Tran Phuoc Thanh Vu “We always aim to have a modern and professional factory, using the latest techniques and technologies to achieve a lean production process and improve productivity. Our good experience with ABB robots means that we plan to invest in several robot stations for the plant in the coming year.”

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