Rushed weld plugs, focus on Service pays off for LEONI customers

As more industries adapt robotic technologies, retasking – moving a robot from one job to another – will become more mainstream. That is one reason the U.S. Department of Commerce created its Manufacturing Robotics Testbed to investigate and support retasking robots. Unfortunately, the testbed doesn’t offer U.S. manufacturers a handy checklist of miscellaneous parts and components necessary for retasking, nor a second list of speed dial numbers of suppliers that can procure and expedite those parts within just a few days.

That was the situation automation specialist Comau found itself in recently.

“During these times of uncertainty, manufacturing companies in every field are searching for ways to save a buck,” explains Leoni technical sales representative Jose Carrasco. “Comau’s customer wanted to retask robots in their operation for a different purpose. Unfortunately, the client didn’t tell Comau they would need weld plugs to complete the installation. And since they were building the robotic cell on-site on an expedited schedule, they were already behind the eight ball.”

Weld plugs provide the power to the weld gun on the robotic arm. Since the robot was originally installed, weld gun technology had progressed to a point where the client wanted to upgrade the robot’s tooling, requiring a new weld plug with better safety features. With today’s just-in-time inventory systems, components such as weld plugs may not be lying around. Luckily, LEONI’s purchasing group was able to use its extensive connections to check multiple suppliers at once and find the missing plug. Comau had the components within five days instead of the expected five weeks it had been quoted before coming to Leoni.

We wanted Jose and the team to know how much I appreciate your recent handling of our need for weld plugs,” said Dennis Hall, PE Controls Design, Automation Systems NA for Comau. “As you know, these were not on our radar as part of our scope. We were in trouble. You guys were all over it, with a strong sense of urgency. When updating the project manager, I told him that I was very happy with your response. He said, ‘Yep, they are one of the few suppliers left that understand the value of service.’ I completely agree. Our thanks to you and your team. Please pass this on.”

Thank you Mr. Hall. We’re happy to help and to pass along your well wishes! For more information about LEONI components and supply chain assistance, please contact sectional areas.