LAMY focuses on more flexibility in production

Case Studies
13. Nov 2023
The brand LAMY stands worldwide for high-quality designer writing instruments with timelessly modern aesthetics and perfect functionality. As an independent family-owned company, Lamy has been consistently committed to its sole production site in Heidelberg since its founding in 1930, thus consistently guaranteeing the highest quality "Made in Germany".

Summary

The brand LAMY stands worldwide for high-quality designer writing instruments with timelessly modern aesthetics and perfect functionality. As an independent family-owned company, Lamy has been consistently committed to its sole production site in Heidelberg since its founding in 1930, thus consistently guaranteeing the highest quality “Made in Germany”.

For the long-established company, the focus in the coming years will be on automating final assembly – both in terms of subassembly pre-assembly and complete writing instruments.

“Our goal is to automate the assembly of our writing instruments from the mid-volume segment in particular by 2024/2025. In recent years, the focus has been on the high-volume segment. Here, the focus was primarily on cycle times, quantities, and quality. We have now covered the high-volume area very well. We have found solutions that focus on a product with high output. Now we are focusing on flexibility in terms of alternative products or processes.”Ronny Brengartner, Head of Manufacturing and Logistics at LAMY

For the planning and implementation of a first innovation project, in which plastic parts of different ink roller series are welded by ultrasonic welding, the company relies on the flexible automation platform of ESSERT Robotics and its many years of expertise in low volume / high mix solutions.

“Currently, together with ESSERT, we have dedicated ourselves to the system of the LAMY safari and LAMY AL-Star rollerball pens. Here, the front part and the tip (both made of plastic) are welded using an ultrasonic welding process. In the final step, a decorative ring is mounted or snapped on,” explains Brengartner.

The challenge

For LAMY, the challenges lie in the complexity of their end products.

A large number of different individual parts made of different materials have to be assembled in several individual steps. Designs, geometries and the sensitive surfaces of some writing instruments make it difficult to implement a fully automated assembly solution. Here, the ideal cooperation of man and machine must be combined.

In the search for a suitable system, the focus was not only on the need for a highly flexible automation solution, but also on its ease of use. After intensive research, the automation platform from ESSERT Robotics was finally convincing.

“Through research and discussions with various robotics suppliers and automation companies, it quickly became apparent that some would not fully cover this first innovation project at LAMY. The innovative workstation from ESSERT caught our attention. The flexibility of designing a Robotic Workstation looked promising and initial discussions followed. With respect for the challenge and at the same time a high motivation to face it, LAMY started the innovation project “Ink Roller Front Welding” together with ESSERT.” is how Brengartner explains the collaboration.

The current status

Together, the first forward-looking innovation project for LAMY was successfully implemented.

Ronny Brengartner describes the procedure: “The strengths of the robot workstation lie in the fact that this system can reproduce the work movement and activity of humans in manual assembly and thus performs the welding process of the ink roller front parts almost in the same cycle. We use feeder feeders to convey the bulk material accordingly, so we did not have to change the upstream process from bulk materials on load carriers for the time being. This allowed us to start with a “stand alone” solution first, without looking at the complex entire value chain.”

Brengartner rates the cooperation with ESSERT as highly constructive and creative right from the start: “It was clear to everyone involved that this task would be a challenge for both companies. However, with the support of the competent teams from ESSERT and LAMY, solutions were quickly worked out that ultimately led to success in a very short period of time.

“We are very satisfied with the series operation of our LAMY safari ink roller front parts. In purely economic terms, we are now achieving the cycle times of a manual workstation in piecework, which is very good. We are looking forward to further cooperation.” is Brengartner’s conclusion.