igus opens new automated assembly line for its readycable range
Published: 28 November 2019 - Rachael Morling
The new assembly line at the igus facility in Northampton represents another significant investment for company. It uses fully-automated machines and lean manufacturing methods to streamline the manufacturing process in order to deliver fully-harnessed drive cables shipped within 24 hours of order placement.
“A few years ago, our sole focus was on selling plastic bearings, energy chains and cables with little assembly work,” says Matthew Aldridge, managing director, igus UK. “More recently we have stepped into robotics and automation based on our component parts and are now investing in automation ourselves to enable us to move into assembly within the UK.”
Historically, igus used to assemble cables manually by cutting back the outer jacket, teasing out the shielding, then stripping the jackets off each of the inner cores and adding crimps; this is a time consuming and laborious process. Now these operations are fully automated using the new readycable line, which also gives 100% quality of assembly.
“We have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on machines to automate this process, cutting leadtimes from 6 or even 10 weeks down to 24 hours. The chainflex cable is cut to length from our extensive stock held in Northampton and all common connector components are available ex stock. This total package means that customers will usually receive their readycable the next working day, fully-tested with a guaranteed service life,” adds Aldridge. “All this automation does not mean that we will be shedding jobs, this automated assembly line will enable us to grow our business, creating more jobs for the area.”