Flourishing within the technology, industrial and design hub of Eindhoven in the south of the Netherlands, manufacturing company DEONET was set up 25 years ago and now exports to more than 60 countries around the world with sales offices in Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Poland and Turkey.
With a motto of “Design. Produce. Deliver,” DEONET manufactures promotional products such as personalized USB sticks, key rings and pens. These products are then sold to the promotional gift industry, marketing and advertising agencies and IT resellers, heading out across the globe from the company’s head office and production facilities in Eindhoven.
Smarter automation has allowed DEONET to remain competitive against low-cost overseas competitors while offering its customers shorter delivery times and constant product innovation. This includes the use of collaborative automation with ABB’s YuMi robot, which helps DEONET to efficiently automate meticulous processes while accommodating a wide variety of product variations, which are often produced in small lots.
For example YuMi is capable of automating the laser-guided process of precisely placing glue dots on a wide variety of USB memory stick and credit card shapes. When done incorrectly, the glue can form strings which might ruin the product or jeopardize DEONET’s high quality standards.
The shift to producing smaller lots of greater variety – with added-in speed, quality and flexibility – means manufacturing is now less predictable for DEONET, and automation more complex. For this reason, the company focuses on doing everything in a smart way. “We have automated our whole product lines and our printing presses, and we now have automation in the shape of a YuMi robot doing the assembly of the goods,” says Rob van Berkom, CEO of DEONET.
The increasing importance of flexibility and competitiveness led DEONET to explore the possibilities of collaborative automation using ABB’s dual-arm YuMi robot solution. YuMi, which stands for “You and me, working together,” was specifically designed to work safely with people on shared tasks, without the need of cages or barriers.