When Mett Pty Ltd, a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility based in Melbourne, Australia was founded in 1983, every aspect of the manufacturing process was examined, says Sven Westphal, manager of manufacturing operations within the Westphal Group. “Quality is paramount, and the customer is always king when performance and delivery are to be measured,” he says. With this motto, the management and staff knew it was important to “work smart, not work hard,” and to use automation to its full capacity.
Automation played a strong part in Mett’s development during the 1980s, but it was during Australia’s recession in early 1991 that Mett invested in its fi rst ABB robot cell. Westphal says that Mett was so impressed with the capabilities of the ABB robotics as well as the user-friendly software, the local product support and the training offered that within 18 months it had invested in fi ve installations and was getting a return on that investment within 12 months for most of the robots.
Today the Westphal Group and Mett have diversifi ed into many different but complementary aspects of manufacturing. “ABB is an important strategic partner to Mett’s continued success,” says Westphal. Westphal explains that the company originally used robots for machine tending in the foundry. Today, he says, there is no limit as to what the company tries to achieve with ABB robot automation. The list includes, in addition to machine tending, sawing, deburring, ladling, palletizing, gluing, assembly work and cleaning. World globalization and shrinking local markets have forced Mett to shift into export markets.