Baxter Robot Injects Packaging Innovation into Leading Plastics Manufacturer

Rethink Robotics' Baxter Robot Streamlines Packaging Process at Koller-Craft Plastics

BOSTON, Jan. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Koller-Craft Plastics has joined the ranks of the world's most innovative manufacturers by adding a smart, collaborative robot to its custom injection molding processes. Working an average of 96 hours a week, Rethink Robotics' Baxter robot is freeing up employees' time for more complex and detailed tasks, by taking on the tedious job of packaging custom parts into a tote.


"The flexibility Baxter has provided allows us to better assign our employees to positions where they are needed, improving our manufacturing processes and production significantly," said Mike Ewing, operations manager at Koller-Craft's Fenton, MO facility. "Baxter's force-sensing capabilities have opened the doors for us to consider many potential applications the robot can help with. Our whole team is coming up with new ways to use the robot."

Sorting and packaging on a line that produces parts made four at a time every half minute, Koller-Craft was able to deploy Baxter without interrupting the production line, unlike many other automation solutions. In light of immediate returns, the company is planning to deploy more Baxter robots in its facilities.

As a leading provider of injection molded plastic components, Koller-Craft has been operating for more than 70 years. As a custom manufacturer, Koller-Craft is constantly adapting to changes in part and demand, requiring automation solutions like Baxter that can do the same.

"Collaborative robots like Baxter that can adapt to real-world manufacturing environments are empowering manufacturers to incorporate them into places they've never considered before," said Jim Lawton, CMO at Rethink Robotics. "Koller-Craft is a great example of a forward-thinking manufacturer who is tapping into the immense potential that smart robotics offer."

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

About Rethink Robotics

Rethink Robotics, Inc. helps manufacturers meet the challenges of an agile economy with an integrated workforce, combining trainable, safe and cost-effective robots with skilled labor. Its Baxter robot, driven by Intera, an advanced software platform, gives world-class manufacturers and distributors in automotive, plastics, consumer goods, electronics and more, a workforce multiplier that optimizes labor. With Rethink Robotics, manufacturers increase flexibility, lower costs and can invest in skilled labor—all advantages in fueling continuous innovation and sustainable competitive advantage.

Committed to accelerating robotics innovation in manufacturing and beyond, Rethink Robotics' Baxter Research Robot gives academic and corporate research environments a humanoid robot platform with integrated sensors and an open software development kit for creating custom applications.

Based in Boston, Massachusetts, the company is funded by GE Ventures, Goldman Sachs, Bezos Expeditions, CRV, Highland Capital Partners, Sigma Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and Two Sigma Ventures. For more information about Rethink Robotics, please visit www.rethinkrobotics.com

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