Although we have implemented several complex, high level automation projects, integrating robotics and electronic drives & controls into existing factory processes, we tend to focus mainly on standalone automated workcells, which we configure, build and test run off-site, before installation and commissioning at the customer plant. As official distributors and integrators for leading hardware names like Mitsubishi, Stäubli, Festo and ABB, we have access to leading-edge drive technology and class-leading robots for every payload and kinematic arrangement, from highly versatile 6-axis models to ultra-fast picker robots.
Not only do we look after the machine specification, sourcing and programming, we design and build the essential safety guarding, feed mechanisms and associated automated processes, then we run 3D digital simulations of the workcell to verify that it will perform to exact specification. Our expertise covers robot workcells, test rigs, pick & place units, self-contained assembly lines and materials handling, as well as benchtop packages for research and academic applications.
For a major packaging company, we designed and installed linked robot workcells for unloading plastic lids for an injection moulding machine, then inserting composite foam wads into the lids, which are used for sealing beverage jars and maintaining product freshness. The unusual oval shape of the closures demanded a particularly high degree of precision, to ensure placement accuracy. The robot workcells operate 24/7, 48 weeks of the year and handle around 15 million closures annually.
For an entrepreneur or inventor looking to bring a brainchild through to fruition, a manufacturer taking a giant leap forward in product conceptualisation or a company seeking to reduce time to market in a fast-paced industry, we offer a contract product design and development service. We can provide an area of expertise that many NPD teams have yet to master or, thanks to our widespread experience, help develop designs for product ideas that are proving difficult to advance to manufacturing stage. Our synergistic, mechatronic discipline means that we approach such projects with a ‘holistic’ approach, featuring horizontal integration between the various engineering technologies and vertical integration between design and manufacture. We also employ state-of-the-art CAD/CAM software tools, to enable the rapid development of 3D solid modelling and working prototypes.
A small tool maker developed an innovative design for cutting sewage, drainage and other pipes, but early units suffered from poor reliability and high manufacturing costs. We recommended a total redesign, since the original was complex and cumbersome, even potentially unsafe, and applied our integrated engineering skills and 3D modelling software to the task, within 10 days producing an elegant prototype that is the basis for today’s range. It is now rated as the safest, most efficient pipe cutter on the market.
We offer low volume, contract manufacture and assembly of complex, largely mechatronic products and systems, for clients that do no wish to maintain their own skilled manufacturing resource or companies looking to trial a brand new product line, before eventually taking production back in-house. Sometimes, as in the case study below, the partnership begins with product design and development, then progresses to small batch manufacture as the project matures, in which case our CAD/CAM tools ensure a smooth transition through to manufacture. As a contract producer, we look after material and component procurement, quality assurance, production scheduling and product despatch, all within a fixed contract price.
A flight simulator is a complex system that emulates the experience of flying an aircraft, for training purposes. For the leading flight simulation specialist, we produce a helicopter flight training rig that, in combination with the benchmark simulation software, delivers full motion control and an ergonomically-accurate experience of flying a helicopter. Used by the military and commercial operators, the full-size cockpit is mounted on electrical actuators and controlled by advanced computer technology, epitomising a mechatronic system.
Our technical support service is as specialised and high tech as our other business solutions, scanning workflow simulation, production planning, robot retraining and servicing, and industrial computer programming. Exploiting the processing power of our in-house MRP2 and SIMUL8 software tools, plus our knowledge of their application to our own internal production planning, we can develop ‘what if’ scenarios for customers’ production scheduling and inventory control provisions, as well as simulating complex dynamic processes to help them achieve lower costs, better quality and higher returns on assets. For companies with existing robot stock, we can reconfigure and reprogram the machinery to carry out different production functions, servicing them where necessary and training operators for new work routines. If you are integrating robot controllers or electronic control systems into existing process machinery or plant-wide networks, we can implement the necessary hard wire connections and program associated PLC’s and servers. Our support service is flexible and intelligent, so explore our capabilities.
A more straightforward, online support service is our Parts Store e-commerce section, with its growing choice of pneumatic, electromechanical, electronic, vision, control and robot components. We offer hundreds of first-class products from such leading technology brands as Festo and Mitsubishi, with next-day despatch for most orders received by mid-day. For further details and our current online catalogue of components, visit Parts Store.
Barr & Paatz
Barr & Paatz is at the forefront of automation, robotics and mechatronics technology and the application of these disciplines to conceptual designs and prototypes, finished products and manufacturing processes. Our synergistic combination of computer-aided design, precision mechanical engineering, pneumatic and electronic controls, and system programming skills, combined with advanced software tools, enables us to undertake all manner of customer projects, from the automation of in-plant processes, through contract design and development, to high grade, low volume manufacturing. We offer a unique resource that, as companies seek to gain access to key technologies and explore fresh market opportunities, will become increasingly relevant to the 21st century marketplace.