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Cobot automates the chore of applying attachment tapes

16 January, 2019

3M has collaborated with the American Industry 4.0 expert Eckhart to develop a system that uses a collaborative robot to apply attachment tapes automatically in industrial and automotive processes. The 3M Automated Taping System (ATS) uses a Universal Robots cobot to apply 3M Attachment Tapes – a process that is usually done by hand.

The developers believe that there are significant opportunities to use the new technology to apply adhesion promoters, create extended liner tabs, and position cut-to-length tape or die cuts precisely onto components. “The 3M Automated Taping System will fundamentally change how companies handle and apply millions of linear feet of 3M Attachment Tape every week throughout the world,” predicts Daniel Burseth, Eckhart’s vice-president of business development.

“A significant majority of our global customer base today applies tape manually,” explains Rachel Moses, US business manager in 3M’s Automotive and Aerospace Solutions Division. “The manual process is labour-intensive, prone to repetitive tasks that create ergonomic issues for employees, and often results in significant rework.

The collaborative robot automates the normally tedious task of applying attachment tapes

“We recognised an opportunity to collaborate with a technology partner that has been working in the industrial automation space for over 60 years,” she adds. “Our goal was to jointly develop an automated solution that delivers real value to 3M Attachment Tape customers all over the world. The 3M Automated Taping System utilises collaborative robot technology to optimise ergonomic safety, first-time quality, and productivity, while reducing the factory footprint required to apply tape where the systems are deployed.”

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