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Case Studies

Case Studies

Antilock Brake Sensor Machine
Automated Barcode System
Automated Swing Arm Bearing Press
Cabinet Face Frame Assembly Cell
Coolant Reservoir
Drop In Machine Optimization
Flexible Welding Cell
Friction Stir Welding
Heated Edgefold Upholstering & Trim Press
Mass Customization and Optimization
Mold Tending Cell
Part Handling and Data Tracking
Power Liftgate & Laser Weld Station
Robot Synchronization
Robotic Visor Assembly Cell
SCADA Systems
Vision Guided Robotics - Flex Feed
 
 
Antilock Brake Sensor Machine
Type:   Other
Level of Automation:  Low

Challenge
Design and build a machine to international standards for assembly and testing of small parts, within a tight budget.

Solution
A tight budget minimizes choices, but maximizes the creativity of the engineers at JR. In this case, the result is a smaller, finely machined, lightweight assembly solution that produces to close tolerances. The machine uses automation to feed and press terminals into housings, and then to verify quality.

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Automated Barcode System
Type:   Other
Level of Automation:  High

Challenge
To create a barcode applicator, test, and packaging machine to replace multiple manual machines. The solution must offer control for speed and for handling multiple part types, and increase the overall speed of the process from 1 to 6 parts per second, depending on part size and shape.

Solution
This high capacity, low labor solution begins with a large, centrifugally fed bowl with adjustable speeds and adjustable and interchangeable tooling, capable of feeding an unlimited number of part types within a specific size range.

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Automated Swing Arm Bearing Press
Type:   Metal Processing
Level of Automation:  Low

Challenge
Provide a machine that ensures parts are free of flash and installs bearings with the correct force and distance.

Solution
The Automated Swing Arm Bearing Press is an all inclusive machine with poke-yoke capabilities, robust integrated equipment, fast and efficient bearing installation and customized floating C-Frame design.

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Cabinet Face Frame Assembly Cell
Type:   Other
Level of Automation:  Medium

Challenge
Customer needed a cell that could assemble face frames without the existing manual labor.

Solution
Taking into account the tradition of cabinet building, the JR team integrated the newest software technology on the market to develop a dual robotic cell to assemble face frames in order to eliminate the strenuous manual labor.

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Coolant Reservoir
Type:   Plastic Processing
Level of Automation:  High

Challenge
To design an automated hot plate welding system that lowers labor costs and increases part quality.

Solution
Hot plate welding system that assembles and tests reservoir bottles for radiator coolant.

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Drop In Machine Optimization
Type:   Other
Level of Automation:  Low

Challenge
In the world of manufacturing, unnecessary downtime can cost a company thousands of dollars. When a valued JR customer came to us after experiencing this debilitating problem on one of their machines, we knew we had to work fast to sniff out the problem and ensure their machine was operating at its highest efficiency.

Solution
Our Software Integration Team was able to optimize a machine with unknown downtime by creating a drop in data analysis software. With this new capability, the company was able to discover and analyze common failures and decrease the downtime, all while avoiding a lengthy and costly shutdown.

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Flexible Welding Cell
Type:   Metal Processing
Level of Automation:  Medium

Challenge
Design a weld machine for low volume production runs of more than 100 different part types.

Solution
The JR solution uses a material handling robot to pick and place fixtures from a rack, which it then presents to an operator for part load and to the weld gun for welding.

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Friction Stir Welding
Type:   Metal Processing
Level of Automation:  Medium

Challenge
Take the welding process, for example: many parts of manufacturing a vehicle depend on the marriage of metals. In traditional arc, MIG, and TIG welding, metals are fused using intense heat and a molten filler metal. When the metals cool and solidify, a bond is created between all of the materials. This process creates a strong weld, but adds weight to the original material. Additionally, arc, MIG, and TIG welding use a great deal of energy to produce heat to melt the metals. In some cases, the heat used to weld two surfaces warps the part, causing the part to be rejected, and ultimately wastes time, money, and material. As the world moves towards cleaner modes of transport, changes in the way materials are welded are necessary.

Solution

At JR’s Quality Drive facility, the PaR Systems I-Stir, a top-of-the-line friction stir welder was used to join two aluminum plates side-by-side, using a nickel-cobalt alloy pin to stir the aluminum. The aluminum plates will eventually become a large component of a car. Since the product has no added material, the end result, post-weld, is a lighter, more energy-efficient vehicle.



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Heated Edgefold Upholstering & Trim Press
Type:   Plastic Processing
Level of Automation:  Low

Challenge
Develop machines to press laminate three part types, with additional parts types to come in the future. Two critical elements for the press are constant heat for bonding, and preventing wrinkling and puckering of the fabric.

Solution
Because all three of the parts require a similar process-a vertical press, horizontal actuators, and heat-the JR team designed one safety and control system with multiple rolling tooling carts; a huge cost savings for the customer.

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Mass Customization and Optimization
Type:   Other
Level of Automation:  Low

Challenge
When a customer came to JR Automation with the challenge of improving the processing efficiency of one of their CNC mills, our Software Integration Team knew just what to do: mass customization and optimization. Our customer had a problem—their machine could only run product in batches and to change batch size, numerous operators had to manually adjust the product fixtures. Additionally, production planning had to be manually entered into an ERP (enterprise resource planning) system. The process was inefficient, hard to optimize, and decreased product throughput.

Solution
Our team created software that interfaced with an ERP system and CNC mill, automating production and significantly reducing scrapped product material. Automated production planning optimized and cut machine downtime by reducing the number of times part nesting needed to be changed over to accommodate batch sizing.

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Mold Tending Cell
Type:   Plastic Processing
Level of Automation:  Medium

Challenge

Supply an insert molding solution that would deliver five different sets of components to overhead robots for loading into an injection molding machine while minimizing the number of parts in process. 



Solution

The JR team developed a cell that integrated two injection molding machines with the ability to run both the same part variants or different part variants simultaneously. In order to deliver the sets of components to the overhead robots, we developed an 8-ft part elevator — a unique type of part transportation that we had not used before. 



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Part Handling and Data Tracking
Type:   Other
Level of Automation:  High

Challenge
Automate a part handling method and develop a data tracking system for a leading medical device customer, who previously used manual methods for handling and tracking processes.

Solution
To automate part tracking, we had the customer add barcode numbers to fixtures that hold the parts throughout production so that each part has a unique identifier for data tracking and part handling.

JR customized software called Ignition to collect data and process the data into reports. Reports may be printed reflecting different periods of time, but the software can retain all part data since the machine’s first power-up. Currently, the system can track millions of parts.

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Power Liftgate & Laser Weld Station
Type:   Plastic Processing
Level of Automation:  Medium

Challenge
Our challenge was to develop a machine that used a laser to weld components of a liftgate actuator through its plastic outer-layer. The machine needed to accommodate three part types with minimal changeover. Complete cycle time for this machine, including operator load and automated unload needed to be under 25 seconds.

Solution
The JR team incorporated a custom-designed LPKF Laser Welder to weld the plastic actuator components together. A laser-weld head, controlled by a servo/ball-screw module and cylinder, used a high-power diode laser system to weld several key points on the liftgate actuator. A separate servo rotated the weld fixture in place, allowing the laser-welder to provide accurate laser delivery to the circumference of the part.

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Robot Synchronization
Type:   Other
Level of Automation:  Low

Challenge
Robots are programmed to perform the same tasks over and over again. Their precise movements allow for quality control and reliable results. However, traditional interfaces for programming and teaching robots require advanced knowledge and skills. Our customer approached us with a problem: sometimes robot points needed manual adjustments due to part variation, then those adjustments may need to be made on every robot in the machine, a process that resulted in a lot of down time. To solve this challenge, our Software Integration Team integrated the RoboSync platform.

Solution
The RoboSync platform includes a simple user interface to quickly adjust robot points. Operators then decide if the adjustments should be synchronized with any other robot in the system. By using the RoboSync platform, operators with no robot programming knowledge have the ability to make necessary adjustments and quickly synchronize those adjustments, limiting system downtime.

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Robotic Visor Assembly Cell
Type:   Plastic Processing
Level of Automation:  Medium

Challenge
To assemble and test right and left hand fabric covered sun visors on a single assembly system with minimal operator contact and a 15 second cycle time. Cleanliness is important to avoid staining the light colored fabric.

Solution
The JR team created an effective assembly solution by integrating several different assembly processes and part handling methods which decreased cycle time, reduced labor content and floor space, and improved part quality over the customer's existing stand alone assembly cells.

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SCADA Systems
Type:   Other
Level of Automation:  Low

Challenge
When utilizing multiple machines, keeping track of parts can be an extensive undertaking. Data collection after and during processes tracks progress, efficiency, and helps alert operators of issues. While working for an innovative customer, JR Automation recognized the need to renovate the company’s current data collection system. The network we designed was a unique version of a supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system which remotely monitors operation and controls through coded signals over communication channels.

Solution
JR engineered the entire network, designed a scalable database system, and built a scalable plant data collection and reporting system. The custom SCADA system designed and built by JR solved plant-wide data collection issues and created an automated reporting system. JR’s unique access to cross- disciplinary skill sets were utilized to successfully complete this project.

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Vision Guided Robotics - Flex Feed
Type:   Metal Processing
Level of Automation:  High

Challenge
Vision Guided Robotic Flexible Feeding allows for almost endless product line variations, eliminating the need for part-designated in-feed systems and machines.

Solution
JR can integrate flex feeding systems into assembly lines, stand-alone machines, and as upgrades to existing equipment, for any industry.

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The JR team was able to come up with a flexible, automated solution that exceeded all expectations.
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