Tennplasco Invests in Rethink Robotics' Sawyer Robot, Sees Return in Under Four Months

To combat growing labor shortages and deliver solutions for the automotive industry, manufacturer deploys smart, collaborative robot

BOSTON - August 22, 2017 - Tennplasco, a plastic injection molding company, solved its labor shortage and met its return on investment just three and a half months after deploying Rethink Robotics Sawyer at its Lafayette, Tenn. facility. With Sawyer, Tennplasco has increased its productivity and efficiency, giving the company a competitive advantage in the injection molding market.

"Like many other manufacturers out there, we have been really struggling to get workers in our factory, especially on the off shifts. The truth is, there are not a lot of people in our area looking for injection molding jobs, and if we dont have people showing up to work, we cant operate," said Danny Rose, General Manager at Tennplasco. "With Sawyer, we dont have to worry about whether the shift will be staffed, and we can stop wasting our time and effort on trying to recruit nonexistent labor."

Easy to deploy with minimal training necessary, Sawyer integrated seamlessly with Tennplasco employees and helped the team design a more efficient work cell. Tennplasco uses Sawyer to deliver solutions and supply key manufacturing components to support the demanding, global automotive industry. Sawyer is currently being used on the assembly line, helping to assemble and inspect automotive parts. Automotive component productions such as sensors, defrosters and electronics are ideally suited for collaborative robots, and Tennplasco is one of many leading manufacturers using Sawyer for these types of tasks.

"For small- to mid-size manufacturers, selling the CFO on the cost of deploying automation can be a challenge. Our team was willing to try it, and with Sawyer, we reached our ROI in just three and a half months," said Rose. "Our customers, especially those in the automotive industry, trust us to support their businesses and meet their changing needs, but to do this, we need both workers and the technology to be innovative and nimble - Sawyer has made that possible."

Founded in 1985 in Carthage, Tenn., Tennplasco, a division of Manar Inc., offers plastic injection and molding services and plastic product solutions. In the future, Tennplasco plans to deploy Sawyer on a variety of injection molding tasks on off shifts to further help solve the labor shortage they continuously face.

"Globally, manufacturers are facing labor shortages; in fact, Deloitte projects a shortage of two million factory employees by the year 2025," said Jim Lawton, chief product and marketing officer at Rethink Robotics. "Sawyer gives companies like Tennplasco the tools to stay innovative and competitive in a world where customers have changing needs, and manufacturers need to minimize uncertainty."

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

About Rethink Robotics
Rethink Robotics is transforming the way manufacturing gets done, with smart, collaborative robots able to automate the 90 percent of tasks that until now, have been beyond the reach of traditional automation. Its Baxter® and Sawyer robots, powered by the Intera software platform, adapt to real-world variability, can change applications quickly and perform tasks like people do. The result: manufacturers of all shapes, sizes and industries get the fast-to-deploy, easy-to-use and versatile automation solution they need to increase flexibility, lower cost and accelerate innovation.

Based in Boston, the Rethink product suite is available in Asia, Europe and North America. The company is funded by Bezos Expeditions, CRV, Highland Capital Partners, Sigma Partners, DFJ, GE Ventures and Goldman Sachs. For more information about Rethink Robotics, please visit www.rethinkrobotics.com and follows us on Twitter @RethinkRobotics.

Featured Product

OCTOPUZ Robot Programming Software

OCTOPUZ Robot Programming Software

Program and simulate ALL your robots with OCTOPUZ offline software. OCTOPUZ specializes in path sensitive robotic applications such as welding, fabrication, edge following (waterjet, deburring, laser cutting), material removal (2D & 3D machining), and pick & place. Easy to learn, it directly supports paths from your favorite CAM system, has a library of over 15 different types of robot brands, can cut path generation by over 50% and is fully customizable to your unique needs. Program and simulate multiple robots simultaneously in any configuration! Responsive technical assistance from OCTOPUZ before, during and after sale via training, support and cell development make OCTOPUZ the software of choice.