Ceramics Manufacturer 'Fires Up' its Production Line with Rethink Robotics' Baxter

Du-Co Ceramics Integrates Robotics Into Ceramics Parts Manufacturing Process

BOSTON, Nov. 18, 2014 -- Du-Co Ceramics is the latest complex material manufacturer to leverage robotics as an innovation platform, adding Rethink Robotics' Baxter robot to its ceramic parts production line. Baxter works alongside the Du-Co team to place ceramic parts into a saggar, readying the parts for firing in the kiln.

Du-Co Ceramics is a leader in the 'Made in America' movement, creating and distributing technical ceramic products around the world. Headquartered in Saxonburg, PA, Du-Co employs more than 250 employees at two separate manufacturing facilities in the United States.

"As a custom shop, every day presents a new challenge on the plant floor. Most automation solutions don't have the flexibility needed to respond quickly enough to these changes in demand - but Baxter does," said Josh Rupp, Process Engineer at Du-Co Ceramics. "Baxter picks up and moves parts four at a time - allowing us to respond in record time."

With one Baxter deployed for less than a month, Du-Co already has plans to use a second Baxter in their process. After a smooth integration into a pick-and-place task, Du-Co envisions Baxter handling machine tending and bulk handling tasks in the future. Baxter can rapidly adapt to changes in process and parts allowing Du-Co to improve operational efficiency while maintaining precision and quality in its complex ceramics parts.

"Du-Co Ceramics is an excellent example of a manufacturer looking to balance flexibility with efficiency, precision and cost," said Jim Lawton, CMO of Rethink Robotics. "Like many of the manufacturers we work with, Du-Co is maintaining a competitive edge by building the factory of the future, leveraging smart, adaptive automation solutions that can quickly adjust to dynamic environments."

For more information, please visit www.rethinkrobotics.com.

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