A specialist in collaborative robots has won a prestigious global award for its work with Ford.
Reeco Automation has received the Henry Ford Award for its partnership with Ford’s engine plant in Bridgend in successfully integrating a collaborative robot (known as ‘cobots’) into its manufacturing process.
Seven entries from Ford plants around the world were assessed by judges before Reeco was chosen as the winner along with Ford engineers, Gary Evans (Electrical Controls Specialist) and Phil Moreton (Senior Emerging Technology Engineer).
Reeco’s Managing Director, Llewelyn Rees, Gary and Phil were presented with their award by Wallace Yearwood, Bridgend’s Engine Plant Manager.
The high-profile success has resulted in Reeco being put forward by Ford for similar projects at some of the motor giant’s other sites internationally.
Llewelyn, whose company is based in Caersws, Powys, said:
“To win the Henry Ford Award is a fantastic achievement for everyone involved, both at Reeco and the team at Bridgend Ford with whom we worked so closely.
“Both larger and smaller manufacturers are increasingly seeing the benefits of integrating cobots into their production processes, not to replace the human workforce but to complement them.”
Other Reeco customers include Rolls Royce, Honeywell and Unilever.
The company is a turnkey solutions provider for cobots – integrating technology on to production lines, bringing about a step change in speed of production, efficiency and safety.
Reeco was founded in August 2016 by Llewelyn and is the leading integrator of cobots in the UK. The global market for cobots is expected to grow by more than 40 per cent per year and be worth over £3billion by 2020.
Reeco provides customers with eight different cobot solutions including screw and bolt fixing, pick and place, riveting, dispensing, polishing, electronics and gluing.
The company also has a strong focus on safety working with clients to develop and implement safety strategies to ensure compliant cobot application.
By using cobots to carry out a range of tasks, employees can be freed up to work on more important tasks requiring human intervention.
Cobots allow operators and robot to work together without the need for safety fencing and expensive guarding, all regulated to ISO 13849-1. The cobots generally have a payback within 12 months dependent on the application.