Case Studies Of Industrial Robots

Robots in action can be found everywhere. Robot Manufacturers give examples of robot applications in different industries.

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Trisa brush up on productivity with the aid of ABB robots

September 2011

Some 120 years ago, the Swiss family company began as a small factory making brushes in Triengen. Today Trisa employs more than a thousand people and sells 250 million toothbrushes each year. Approximately 97 percent of the company's output is exported to about eighty countries in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, China and India. About a million toothbrushes leave Trisa's production plants each day and amazingly, one hundred percent of the company's output is produced in Switzerland.

Innovate to stay competitive

Trisa manufactures a mass produced item in a high wage economy. To remain competitive, Trisa invests intensively in new products. The company is the sector leader in terms of innovation and technology. Trisa develops complex, multi-component technologies, for toothbrush handles, flexible brush heads and a broad range of bristle designs. Each year the company develops 20 to 30 new products in the pursuit of perfect oral hygiene.

Investment in robotics

IRB 6000 IRB 140 at the Trisa toothbrush factory in Tiengen, SwitzerlandIn addition to product innovation, the company places a lot of focus on automation. Around forty ABB robots are used at Trisa, primarily in the final packaging process. Another order for eight robots - one IRB 6000 and seven IRB 140s - has recently been received for new production lines. Roland Eschmann, Head of Marketing at ABB Robotics in Altstetten, says, "Our collaboration with Trisa has grown over the years, and is characterized by mutual trust." ABB delivers the robots in blue - Trisa's corporate color. Acting as its own systems integrator, Trisa incorporates the robots into existing or new production systems and programs them.

 "It is essential that we can modify our robot systems very quickly and flexibly," explains Josef Lötscher, head of the technology unit. "We also have limited-batch production runs, and we can't afford to be idle for long periods." Lötscher values Trisa's good relationship with ABB's specialists, as well as the reliable, low-maintenance robots, such as the IRB 2400 which picks up six wrapped toothbrush batches in a particular order, places them in a rack, selects a label and sticks it on. The robot also checks that no packaging has been forgotten during this process. Nothing escapes its sensor-eye, ensuring that the end customer in the shop can select the perfect toothbrush. "And despite the automation, we have created hundreds of jobs in the last twelve years since installing the first robots" adds Felix Fischbacher, Export Marketing Manager at Trisa

About Trisa
The Trisa Group, founded in 1887 in Triengen, Switzerland, has operations in the oral care sector (73 percent), cleaning sector (18 percent) and hair care sector (9 percent). The Ebnat brush factory also belongs to the Group. The world?s leading supplier of toothbrushes and oral care products generated turnover of $200 million USD in 2008. Trisa AG exports 83 percent of its output. The company sets itself apart with a cooperative management style, a supervisory board with equal employee and shareholder representation, employee involvement in the decision-making process and commitment to social responsibility. For more information, visit www.trisa.ch.


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