Category Archives: Kaizen

Reduced Costs for Chocolate Quality Inspection

Industry: Food
Process: Inspection

How We Reduced Costs for the Quality Inspection Process

· An air cylinder was used to move the camera for quality inspection.
· Pressure adjustment to set the specified speed was difficult, and the speed was unstable even after adjustment.
· As a result of moving the camera at high speed in order to achieve the necessary number of production per day, the camera was damaged every year from the shock (at the start / stop) received at the stroke end.

[Improvements by Electric Actuation]
· With smooth acceleration / deceleration, it is now possible to move at a stable and high speed without the shock impact at the stroke end. This reduced the cycle time.
· The camera no longer needed to be replaced.

[Results of Improvement]
· Improved cycle time and increased production efficiency.
→ 25% higher production efficiency.

· The shortening of inspection work time reduced labor costs.
The number of production required per day is 54,000.
Inspection time was reduced from 15 hours to 12 hours per day after electric motorization, which means the inspection time was reduced 3 hours per day.
Annual number of working days 240 days, labor cost $18 / hour
3 hours × 240 days × $18
→ Reduced annual labor cost by $12,960.

· Eliminated camera replacement cost.
→ Reduced cost $8,000 per year.


Related product information
Single axis robot: ISDB-L-400


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Automating Touch Panel Inspection Process

Industry: Electronic equipment / Home Appliances
Process: Positioning

Inspection Process Costs were Reduced!

[Product Handled]
· Touchscreen tablet

· Touch the display on the touchscreen with a pen (touch inspection). This is the process of inspecting the deviation between the touch position and reaction position.

[Before Improvement]
· Personnel operated the touch pen and inspected each tablet. Working time: 2 minutes / unit
· Two people were needed for the required production volume (500 units / day). 500 units × 2 minutes ÷ 480 minutes (8 hours) = 2.1 ≒ 2 people / day.

[Improvement by adopting Tabletop robots]
· We were able to automate the touch inspection process.
· It is now possible to conduct two inspections in parallel using 1 minute for the automated touch inspection. (Two tabletop robots were installed.)

[Results of Improvement]
· By automating the touch inspection, one person can now inspect twice as many units as before.
· Personnel costs were reduced to half.

[Total Effect]
→ *Process cost reduction for the 1st year: $22,815

(*Based on case study in Japan.)


Related product information
Actuators: Tabletop Robot TT-C3


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Continuity Inspection Tool – CT-Effects Application Example

Labor Cost Reduction$9,000/year

One operator
*Labor $18.00/hour 8 hours/day
*Overtime work 2 hours
*250 operational days/year

*Exchange Rate: 1(USD)=100(Japanese Yen)


Electronic Components 
Continuity Inspection Tool – CT-Effects Application Example
[ Robot/Electric Actuators ]
[ Controllers ]


  • [Equipment Detail]

    It is a continuity inspection tool used for a PC extension board manufacturer.

    An air cylinder is used in this application to insert an edge connector on a PC board.

    An operator loads and unloads a PC board to the air cylinder manually.


  • [Problems in Using an Air Cylinder]

    Since you can’t change speed with air cylinders, you will need to move the entire stroke at the same speed to insert the PC board to the inspection tool. The cycle time is 15 seconds, and the number of work pieces that can be inspected in an 8 hour work day was 1,920 pieces *1.

    Management decided to increase the production volume of the PC boards to 2,400 pieces per 8 hour shift and to accomplish this, 2 hours *2 of over time per day was required.

    *1 (8 * 60 * 60) seconds/ 15 seconds/ piece

    *2 (2,400 – 1,920) pieces * 15 seconds/ piece


    [Benefits of Replacing with ROBO Cylinder]

    By switching to ROBO Cylinder, this enables them to move at high speed before insertion and then slow down just before the insertion, which lead to a shorter cycle time of 12 seconds. 

    It is now able to finish inspection within the operational hours. Also the reduction of labor cost for overtime work was accomplished.

    The cost spent to replace the cylinder was retrieved in the 1st year, which resulted in a cost reduction of $9,000 from the 2nd year.


[CT Effects – Reduction in Cycle Time/Choco Tei]


Subject Equipment with Air Cylinder Equipment with the ROBO Cylinder
Cycle Time 15 seconds 12 seconds


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Potting and Encapsulation Machine – CT-Effects Application Example

Here is an example of how to reduce labor costs and increase production by automatizing the electronic encapsulation process using the Table Top type robot TTA series, which was conducted manually previously.

Labor Cost:
Reduction of $22,300/year (*1)

Production Amount:
640 pieces/day ⇒ 740 pieces/day (Increased by 100 pieces/day) ⇒  Productivity Improvement of 68%

*Exchange Rate: 1(USD)=100(Japanese Yen)


Electronic Components / Applicator
Potting and Encapsulation Machine – CT-Effects Application Example
[ Robot/Electric Actuators ]
[ Controllers ]
TTA-A3 Built-in


  • [Equipment Overview]

    Set a pallet on the equipment and press the start button on the TTA. The equipment starts applying a molding encapsulant on the PCB (printed circuit board) one by one to seal them up.


  • [Detail of the Work Process]

    1. The work piece is a PCB (printed circuit board) which is placed on a pallet. (20 work pieces for 1 pallet)
    2. Since the application process was conducted manually before introducing the equipment, it took 36 seconds for one work piece.
    3. It takes 3 minutes (180 seconds) to replace the pallet (operation time to remove the pallet, set a new one and then press the start button).


  • [Effect after Automatizing]
    • A molding encapsulant gets applied evenly in minimum time for the necessary amount, which made the operation time 30 seconds on average per work piece.
    • Since the worker is now only responsible for “the placement and removal of the pallets” and “to press the start button”, the person in charge of other duties can now handle this operation as well, which reduced the labor cost for workers who performed application.

[CT Effects – Reduction in Cycle Time/Choco Tei]


Subject Manual Work Equipment with TTA
Cycle Time 36 seconds/piece 30 seconds/piece
Production Amount per day in Unit of pallets 32 Pallets(*2) 37 Pallets(*3)
Production Amount per day (Amount in unit of pallets 20 pieces/pallet) 640 pieces 740 pieces
Labor Cost per day $120/day(*4) $27/day(*5)
Labor Cost per Year (Labor cost per day *240 working days) $28,800/year Approx.$6,500/year

(*1) $28,800-$6,500. Subtracting automatizing cost in the 1st year will give $22,300 subtract TTA, machine, and program cost.
(*2) 28,800 seconds (operation time per day)/(36 seconds/piece *20 pieces/pallet + Pallet replacing time 180 seconds)=32 pallets=> Number of pallet replacing is 31 times
(*3) 28,800 seconds/(30 seconds/piece *20 pieces/pallet + pallet replacing time 180 seconds)=37 pallets=> Number of pallet replacing is 36 times
(*4) Labor $15/hour, 8hours/day
(*5) Total working time per day for pallet replacing=Time for pallet replacing 3 minutes. *Pallet replacing 36 times=108 min.(=1.8 hours), Labor cost=$15/hour, 8hours/day

*Exchange Rate: 1(USD)=100(Japanese Yen)

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