Standby Screw Recognized for Robotics by Crain’s Cleveland

It’s been a whirlwind year since we joined forces with the team at Rethink Robotics to bring our friend Baxter (and more Baxters after that) to Standby Screw. It’s been nothing but a privilege and a blessing when it comes to our S.C.O.R.E. mentality to have robots working alongside us. We’re proud to be one of the first companies in Ohio (there’s only a little over 20 companies now) to benefit from Rethink Robotics’ technology.

Thank you to Crain’s Cleveland Business for featuring us and allowing us to represent Ohio and thank you to Rethink Robotics for being a tremendous team to work with. Read the entire Crain’s Cleveland article, here and watch the video of Baxter in-action at our facility!

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Go Behind the Scenes with Standby Screw!

You’ve heard about our robot, Baxter, who helps us work smarter. Yesterday, we were lucky enough to have Rethink Robotics, the creators of Baxter, come film him at work at Standby! A few of us even got a chance to be interviewed about how Baxter and robotics in general have helped our efficiency!

Here’s a sneak peek of yesterday’s shoot, but stay tuned for the official video to be released soon!

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The aftermath of Baxter’s work is cleanly packaged and ready to go!
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The crew at Rethink Robotics, setting up for our interview!

The Capabilities of Baxter

cornell-baxter-robot-2You might have heard about our new friend Baxter—the interactive production robot that is assisting us at Standby Screw. Let’s get down to it—what can Baxter do and what makes him so special?!

He’s safe. Baxter doesn’t like to be caged up and luckily, you won’t have to! He doesn’t take up much space and can work safely and productively next to anyone on the floor in our warehouse!

He’s well-trained. There is no need to further program Baxter. He’s ready to be trained by in-house staff, reducing the time and cost of third party programmers.

He’s flexible. Need Baxter to learn a new capability? He can do it. A little re-purposing is nothing for a robot like Baxter who can speed up the ROI process to less than one year.

He’s careful. Baxter’s arms and force detection allow him to pick up, place, and guide pieces just as carefully as a human would. He’s very polite to be so careful.

The next time you need kitting, packaging, loading, unloading, machine tending, or material handling done, give Baxter a try. We’ve even had guest blogs on how easy it is to work alongside him. He’s worth every penny!

Employee Spotlight: Matt Frindt, Manufacturing Engineer

img2-facilites1.      How long have you been at Standby Screw? I have been with Standby for a little over 2 years.

2.      What is your favorite thing about working here? Watching Drew run around trying to gather information for our blog and using new technology like Baxter and Partmaker.

3.      If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? Europe–especially Paris, France, to visit the Louvre and La Chaise Cemetery.

4.      What do you like to do for fun? Travel to see live music and festivals, camping, and spending time outdoors (especially when and where it is warm).

5.      If you had one important piece of  “life” advice to give someone, what would it be? There is always more to learn. Never grow up, keep an open mind, and be teachable. Our purpose in this life is more than the societal norm of “grow up, get a job, etc.” Get out of your comfort zone and go after that purpose!

Humans Working Alongside Robots, a guest blog by Pamela Kidd

For the first time in the United States, robots are working alongside human employees in small offices and factories, changing the way factories think about and use robots on a daily basis.

Meet Baxter, a small collaborative robot currently helping small factories with their workload across the United States—and yes, it makes faces. Baxter is equipped with a computer screen face that displays a pair of eyes that are able to express different emotions. In fact, if a human co-worker sneaks up behind or randomly moves in front of Baxter, the robot registers that something has invaded its “personal space” and is able to look surprised.

ROBOTSThis interactive ability is what makes Baxter a collaborative robot. It is able to acknowledge other employees, adapt to their needs, and safely work alongside them in a small environment. This is huge change from the robots to which factories in the United States have become accustomed. Robots have been working in factories for years, but they are usually much larger, more dangerous, and typically only serve one purpose. Small collaborative robots, like Baxter, are redefining the term.

According to the Wall Street Journal, collaborative robots are working their way into factories across the United States, primarily due to their ability to decrease production time and reduce labor costs. They make it possible for human workers to move on to more important jobs in their company. In fact, some workers are now managing the robots that are performing the same tasks they used to do.

Panek Precision Incorporated, a precision machine shop in Northbrook, IL already has 21 robots like Baxter. The company has experienced such great success with them that it plans to add up to 14 more by the end of next year. Standby Screw also recently added a Baxter to its team because it is safe, efficient and can be manually trained to do multiple jobs in a given period.

Collaborative robots don’t just benefit the companies that use them; the companies that manufacture their component parts are also enjoying an increase in business. Precision machining companies like Lampin Corporation in Uxbridge, MA who are manufacturing – with the requisite tight tolerances – the gearboxes, shafts and pulleys required by these new robots, should reap huge benefits as the sector grows.

Between the businesses that are using the robots and the ones that are making the parts, these small robots are impacting the American economy in a big way. Currently, the only thing holding these robots back is the fear of change, which is sure to hinder more skeptical companies in the long run.

Introducing…Baxter!

baxter-thumb1If you haven’t guessed it already from our clues, we at Standby Screw just welcomed a new member to the team, Baxter!

Baxter is redefining the way robots can be used in a manufacturing environment like ours. What’s great about Baxter is that he performs tasks safely, efficiently, and gets along well with people!

Here are some other qualities to Baxter’s “personality” that we can’t wait to work with:

-Baxter can be trained manually by line workers with no programming required

-Baxter won’t invade your work space—he cooperates well directly next to workers

-Baxter knows what you want and does everything you expect

Want to get to know Baxter better? Visit his page!

What’s in the Box?

Wondering what’s in this bax, er, we mean box? We’ve shaken it, lifted it, etc. and our guess is that it is something revolutionary for the manufacturing world. Stay tuned for next week’s big reveal at Standby Screw!

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