Sanwa Robotics LTD

Production volume increased by 20%; Usability highly regarded by on-site staff

Sanwa Robotics Co., Ltd. (Head office: Iida, Nagano Pref.)

Sanwa Robotics Head Plant

Sanwa Robotics Head Plant

Sanwa Robotics Co., Ltd

left:Takahiro MOTOJIMA, Senior Executive Manager
center:Hironobu SAWA, President
right:Jun KARASAWA, General Manager

Sanwa Robotics has been playing an active role in the precision parts machining field for almost 60 years since its foundation in 1964. Their products include energy equipment, vehicle coating machine, FA equipment, optical equipment, aircraft equipment fixtures, components for space equipment, etc. They undertake prototype production to mass production of these products.

Recently, they have taken new initiatives, and now they operate two businesses. One is a “precision equipment business” which has been the core business since its foundation. This business covers precision parts machining to unit assembly, and an integrated production system has been established. In addition, they introduced CAD and CAM, and commenced 5-axis machining and complex machining at an early stage to cultivate skilled personnel that can use machinery and tools.

The other is “smart factory business” where industrial robots are developed and manufactured. Unlike mass production plants, automation is difficult in multi-product production plants and these plants tend to rely on operators. This business is intended to provide support for production environments facing labor shortages by suggesting partial automation through combining machine tools and articulated robots. Since the launch of the smart factory business, Sanwa Robotics has been taking on the role of a system integrator (SIer).

Improvement of productivity was an urgent issue before introduction

"Actually, we were using Brother machines about 30 years ago. As the production of a certain project was terminated, our deal with Brother phased out," said President Sawa.

Since then, they have been using machines produced by other companies. However, they received a request to increase mass production in a busy season, and they strongly felt the need to increase production performance. Although they made efforts to shorten the cycle time, there were limits. As they were handling many aluminum parts, increasing the cutting speed was an urgent issue. In the midst of this situation, there was a suggestion from the field staff, "why not use Brother’s machining center?" Our deal restarted this way. They introduced one Brother machine for trial use in August 2021, and the machine was highly regarded in-house for "high performance” and “usability." They introduced 10 additional machining centers in June 2022.

Improvement of productivity was an urgent issue before introduction
Improvement of productivity was an urgent issue before introduction

Great increase in production volume followed by unexpected advantage!

Regarding the advantages of introducing Brother machines, Mr. Karasawa said, "The screen configuration on the touch panel is very user-friendly. As intuitive operation is possible, the operation is easy-to-remember.” He also said, “As the reduction in cycle time is important to reduce costs, faster operation is a great advantage to achieve this."

Although they are still in the investigation phase, Mr. Motojima reported that productivity has improved by 20 to 30% after installing Brother machines. He also remarked that "chips are hardly piling up" as an advantage they found after using our machine. He evaluated our machine by saying, “Piling up of chips is quite common for operators and periodic cleaning is essential. As the Brother machine hardly requires cleaning during operation, we can use this time for production, which is a great advantage.”

Great increase in production volume followed by unexpected advantage!
Great increase in production volume followed by unexpected advantage!

BT30 machines will become flagship in the future

"I was considering replacing BT40 machines with BT30 machines 10 years ago," said President Sawa. "In those days, 90% of machines in operation were BT40. Currently, 50 of 80 machines in operation are BT30 machines."
"As aluminum cutting was mainly performed, we had to improve productivity. In that situation, the SPEEDIO BT30 machining center had a great impact for us. Once we used the SPEEDIO, there was a notable difference in output speed between the BT40 machine and the BT30 machine. I believe Brother offered us a very good suggestion," he remarked.
To achieve energy saving in the plant, they are committed to environmental efforts by commencing an investigation into the plant environment in cooperation with the Industrial Research Institute of Nagano. Although still under investigation, they received a report that power consumed by the SPEEDIO is less than that of the BT40 machine when producing the same product.

In addition, they plan to connect six of ten Brother machines with their original robots to promote automation. "I think if labor saving and power management become possible by combining machines with robots, CO2 emissions per part will be reduced, leading to energy saving," said President Sawa. He then continued, "BT30 machines will become the flagship as their performance is overwhelmingly high, including environmental performance."
As new possibilities are spreading in combination with Brother machines, their expectations are growing.

BT30 machines will become flagship in the future

Products introduced

S700X2 / S500X2 / S300X2

The SPEEDIO maximizes productive efficiency improvement of mass-production parts such as automobile, motorcycle and information technology.

Customer considering purchase

Machine Tools lineup