JS2SF: Robotically optimised stone-cutting factory rocks harder.

Keeping a production line both flexible and profitable is a real challenge. Which is why Renier Natuursteen, an SME manufacturing company that produces natural stone products for the building industry teamed up with Optidrive, a technology company and robot integrator. Their experiment focuses on optimising a production environment that already includes advanced robot cells and CNC machines, as well as non-digital equipment such as pallets. They will transform what is essentially a job shop into a smart, agile factory. And this will allow instant changes in production so that each stone product can be different, and easily accommodated into the production flow. Importantly, the experiment also seeks to demonstrate how SMEs can use robotics to outperform competitors, shorten lead times, improve cost control, and enhance quality assurance, as well as reduce human error, improve agile-to-market performance (speed of introducing new products) and create an extendable platform that enables easy integration of solutions from different providers.