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Ruland Manufacturing taps Flexxbotics for robotic machine tending

Manufacturers across industries are seeking to unlock higher productivity and round-the-clock operations through increasing automation. Robotics leader FANUC recently collaborated with startup Flexxbotics to deliver autonomous smart factory solutions for one such manufacturer - Ruland Manufacturing. The project successfully automated Ruland's FANUC RoboDrill machining workcells using Flexxbotics' adaptive control software, enabling "lights out" 24/7 unmanned production.



The integrated system leverages Universal Robots' collaborative robots, connected to Ruland's CNC machines and Renishaw inspection probes via Flexxbotics' FlexxCORE software platform. This connectivity allows real-time communication between the robots, machines and quality inspection equipment. The robots can autonomously load and unload parts, start machining cycles, then cross-check finished parts against quality benchmarks before packaging - fully unattended.


If deviations occur, FlexxCORE directs the necessary automated adjustments - like compensating for tool wear - to keep production going. This closed-loop optimization capability was pivotal for Ruland to meet its 80% workcell utilization targets. The quick-changeover design also enables managing over 100 different product variants efficiently.


Beyond orchestrating autonomous workflows, Flexxbotics also provides smart assists to operators when manual interventions are needed - supplying contextual diagnostics to resolve errors rapidly. The open architecture further allows integrating inspection technologies from multiple vendors into single adaptable workcells.


The success of Flexxbotics' adaptive control software has substantiated its viability as a digital backbone for smart factories. By modularizing and infusing intelligence into discrete automation components, manufacturers can take a stepped approach in building truly smart production facilities. Instead of rip-and-replace measures, they can leverage existing robotics investments while tapping automation-as-a-service business models for maximum flexibility.


As manufacturing digitization gains momentum globally, the demand for platforms like FlexxCORE will be substantial. Flexxbotics has continued expanding its partner ecosystem via collaborations with automation innovators like Vention. With scalable cloud-based tools democratizing custom workcells, combined with intelligent software driving optimization - manufacturers now have ready blueprints to turn Industry 4.0 ambitions into proven 24/7 robotic automation capabilities.

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