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Standby Screw Machine Products Leverages Baxter Robot to Increase Global Competitiveness

A leader in custom manufacturing for outdoor power equipment, Standby Screw Machine Products Co., is leveraging Rethink Robotics' two-armed Baxter robot in two separate applications to increase flexibility and consistency in its manufacturing operations and better compete on a global stage.

A third-generation company founded in 1939, Standby Screw manufactures and delivers custom parts for outdoor power equipment and automotive industries. Because of the repetitive nature of many of the factory tasks, the company sought a solution that would lower costs and competitively price their products, but still maintain the flexibility to deal with new parts and production lines quickly and easily. Smart, flexible and able to perform in variable environments, Baxter is uniquely designed to meet the needs of manufacturers.

"Our customers want a quality part, at a competitive price, delivered on time, and Baxter is integral to that goal," said Drew Rabkewych, sales manager at Standby Screw. "We've increased efficiency in two critical lines, and can now leverage our staff in more complex roles throughout the factory. We see Baxter as a major competitive advantage in our industry."

In Standby Screw's Berea, Ohio factory, Baxter is a vital part of a high-volume robotic cell producing more than one million parts per year, cleaning and packaging worm shafts – a long cylindrical gear used for self-propelled walk-behind lawnmowers. Baxter is fed parts from a traditional caged industrial robot, and, using both arms, moves the parts into a slot to clean the machine oil before placing the parts into two boxes.

Two Baxters hard at work on the factory floor at Standby Screw

A second Baxter is tending to a milling machine, using two arms to pick up pivot rods designed for snow blowers out of a feeding unit and placing them into the machine to cut a flat end on the rod.

Using both arms and handling multiple parts at the same time, Baxter is packaging the worm shafts into boxes directly on the factory floor, working overnight in some cases. The added production time and ability to package exactly 169 parts per box is directly contributing to Standby Screw's ability to maintain a competitive price for its products.

"As manufacturers look to gain an edge in a highly competitive global environment, innovative companies are turning to Baxter to solve decades-old challenges in their production lines," said Jim Lawton, chief product and marketing officer at Rethink Robotics. "Smart, collaborative robots that can work in variable manufacturing environments are making a significant difference on the factory floor today."


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