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Northern Industrial Takes on Two Old Robots to Help Customers Face Adoption Challenges

Blackburn-based automation spare parts and repairs company Northern Industrial has taken delivery of two used robots, previously employed on production lines in Germany, to help ensure the integrity of repair work and spare components before shipping worldwide.


Northern Industrial provides reconditioned and obsolete parts and repair services to customers in 132 countries.  Sourcing parts from over 1,350 manufacturers, the multi-award-winning company covers over 200,000 part numbers and holds approximately £7m in stock.

Installed at the company’s 30,000 sq ft repair facility on Shadsworth Business Park, the Kuka KRC2 KR125L-3 and KR150 robots will be used as a testing ground for teach pendants, axis drives and motion controllers that the company supplies and repairs for customers in a wide range of industries.

Managing director David Lenehan said: “In the modern economy, ever changing customer expectations and demands are meaning manufacturers need advanced production systems to keep up.  New robot technologies provide the flexibility to meet these demands.  But with increased flexibility comes increased complexity.  And, simply put, increased complexity means more things can go wrong.

“With the amount of signalling, peripheral equipment and tooling involved, robot processes are, by nature, complicated and the latest developments only increase that, adding to risks of damage and longer production schedules.

“At Northern Industrial, we are in the business of keeping factory processes up and running, so adopting these robots ourselves will help us stay at the forefront of the movement, to support our customers in their own robot adoption.

“While the Kuka robots are usually used in automotive production, they are applicable in a wide range of industries, from packaging to processing.

“Machinery breakdowns are not only stressful, they’re expensive too – a recent report suggested they cost an average $260,000 an hour across all businesses.

“Our aim is to provide the spare parts and repairs customers need as quickly as possible to minimise downtime in a breakdown situation.  The two new robots will allow us to test and ensure all repair works have been successful, and parts are in full working order before we deliver them to an already stressed out customer, who could be literally anywhere in the world.”

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