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Ushering Stäubli Robotics in the road to developing Smart Manufacturing Solutions

This exclusive cover story depicts the vignette of Christophe Coulongeat who is driving the transformation of Stäubli Robotics as New Group Division Manager. Owing to his audacious vision and innovation-centric outlook, the company is about to walk the roadway of a smart factory concept that will open a gateway for enticing opportunities in favour of business growth.

As a front runner robotic player, Stäubli Robotics commenced its business operations in a new-fangled and revolutionizes the manner in January 2021, by unveiling its new leadership while hosting its first digital Innovation Days, on March 3 -5, 2021 via the virtual platforms at the primary workstations located in Bayreuth (Germany) and Faverges (France). In this direction, accepting the responsibility as Robotics, Christophe spotlighted and conveyed a roadmap of the division’s growth agenda, while highlighting some key insights pertaining to neoteric product developments and avant-garde solutions.

He adeptly outlined the fundamental layers of strategic implementations for the company’s growth docket to all the guests, while setting up sustainable and ambitious prospects. In the upcoming years, the robotic pioneer will make its steadfast presence in its main pitch where the limelight will be on high-end applications for general industries with the formulation of high-performance robots; leadership in pharma, food, medical robotics and photovoltaics; and solutions for smart factory automation, which is the first layer of his distinct reformative approach.

The second layer puts emphasis on establishing a close collaboration with the international customer base whereas the third one suggests Stäubli aim at syncing with market leaders in industrial areas such as pharma, food, medical robotics and photovoltaics.

Hereafter, the company will be nurturing a prolonged relationship with its end customers by boosting its field services, enhancing the efficiency of customer operation and widening the service portfolio. About the fifth and final value driver, Coulongeat revealed,
“It will be converged on increasing innovation bandwidth, with ambitious investments to ensure sustainable development.”

At the Innovation Days, four product families were showcased by him on which they are about to invest extensively– Industrial robots, Collaborative robots, Mobile robots and Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs). “Extensive investment means Stäubli now has probably the most powerful and capable SCARA and six-axis robots for the lower and medium load range. For this unequalled product, we have even been conferred with Red Dot Award in 2021. All of these innovations are compatible with Industry 4.0 standards. And with minor modifications, they can also be used as POWER cobots for direct human-robot collaboration,” explains Christophe.

Stäubli Robotics’ POWER cobots lead the market with their unique agility and precision. Additionally, Stäubli’s state-of-the-art mobile robot systems and AGVs prove their capabilities by handling all load capacities up to a maximum of 500 tons, with world-class maneuverability and accuracy. In meeting the need for excellent kinematic performance, and where precision, cycle times and repeatability are critical, these highly efficient robots and applications deliver a strong competitive advantage.

Moreover, he also gave a detailed view on leveraging the company’s overall value chain that will end up in the formulation of some phenomenally digital solutions for its valued customer’s smart factories. Soon, Stäubli Robotics will be paving its path in Industry 4.0 with its intelligent solutions to revamp the present scenario for smart factories, by keeping an unwavering focus on performance, mobility and connectivity.

In light of this, Christophe cites,
“With its Automated Guides Vehicles(AGVs), Stäubli Robotics now covers the complete material flow indoors and out, helping its customers connect and optimize manufacturing and logistics processes in digitally networked environments. Its Autobox AGV, for example, automates the transportation of containers and palettes, while the recently launched ultra-compact AGV forklift facilitates material provision.”

Drawing attention to the latest and innovative product line, Coulongeat conveyed that among the most recent developments, the new TX2-140/160 series of robots will be their highest bid in the respective markets. This is a one-of-a-kind product with a 40kg load capacity and a maximum reach of slightly over two meters. Its updated models are effectively able to meet the requirements of the PV, metal and automotive sectors.

Furthermore, in the semiconductor industrial area, Stäubli Robotics has partnered with large-scale manufacturers of semiconductor production equipment concerning the production of heavy-duty (25 ton) AGVs that can perform competently under cleanroom conditions.

Subsidiary Stäubli WFT now has its own cleanroom production for these AGVs and also produces them in different load classes for other sectors,” claims Coulongeat.

Additionally, Christophe Coulongeat also made an astounding announcement about Stäubli’s most successful Helmo autonomous mobile robot claiming that it is going to be extended in the form of a bigger and impactful variant. He addressed it as ‘HelMo’s big brother’ that automates loading and unloading of heavy parts, as well as performs tool-changeover processes that ensure enhanced productivity, flexibility and autonomy for end users.

Ever since Coulongeat took over Stäubli Robotics as the Group Division Manager, he has ensured to establish some short as well long terms goals. The foremost being setting up a robust foundation by enhancing the company’s leadership status in high-growth spaces by spawning staunch ventures for every targeted industry.

And above all, his endeavours are fixated on allowing value-added services for the end customers by setting unequalled benchmarks when it comes to Total Cost of Ownership(TCO) despite absolute usage of robots in challenging production ecosystems like cleanrooms. Addressing this scenario, the dynamo affirms, “We want to enhance customer proximity, enlarge our field service, improve the efficiency of our processes, expand our service offering and also invest in innovation. In this regard, I have also set myself verify specific, measurable goals, including the target of consistent double-digit growth over the next ten years.”

Coulongeat made it apparent that at present his adept team is zeroed in on the pharmaceutical, food, medical robotics and photovoltaic sectors. Pioneering these segments, the organization will be incessantly focussed on offering a ground-breaking product portfolio to the targeted client base.

Moreover, he has devised some plans to boost their competitive edge as a major player where a significant amount of emphasis will on high-end applications in the automotive and general industry domains alongside aiming holistic industry 4.0 solutions that cover a comprehensive range of robots, cobots, mobile robot systems, AGVs and autonomous special vehicles. Undeniably, Coulongeat’s exclusive foresightedness is going to shape brighter prospects for Stäubli Robotics.

Addressing the current chaotic times of the pandemic, Coulongeat states that the whole world has been bearing the brunt of the outbreak of novel Coronavirus and Stäubli hasn’t been completely immune to it. Although their exemplary robotic solutions are avidly being utilized as instrumental tools in the fight against the global pandemic, their personal contribution towards pacifying the chaos is what Stäubli takes pride to convey.

The key distinguishing factor that is making their solutions quite relevant against the present backdrop is their superior, hygienic design of the high-precision four-axis and six-axis robots, giving the company a leading edge in the respective market. Indeed, the impact of the pandemic has been actively reflected on their sales figure, but  they are expecting an escalated demand from these targeted markets shortly that will drive value creation.

Being the market leader in offering robots and automated vehicles, their attention is always converged on being substantive to manufacturers across the globe where the pioneering industry 4.0- compatible product line can define automation differently. “At Stäubli, today, manufacturers can find everything they need to set up digitally networked production: I4.0-compatible four-axis and six-axis robots, cobots, mobile robot systems and collaborative mobile robots as well as AGVs in a wide range of variants.

Our Autobox AGV automates the transport of containers and pallets, our ultra-compact AGV forklift facilitates the delivery of materials and our AutoTrailer manages the autonomous transport of semi-trailers on factory premises,” elucidates the iconic leader about contributing to digital advancement drive. All of the comprehensive programs facilitate manufacturers to get acknowledged with digitally networked production and intralogistics concepts causing the company to establish higher service standards backed up by flexibility and productivity.

For the 2021 business year, Christophe has outlined some ambitious goals for shaping a radiant future for the company. He is aligning his exclusive professional acumen with the company’s objectives for paving the way to a resounding success. His sheer indulgence is to supervise the heightened demand for the company’s products and application in international markets. He puts his unfaltering faith in the core competencies of Stäubli and believes it will be able to scale greater heights while making synergy with the ongoing Covid-19 requirements. In this context, he quotes

“We have fully adapted our -production facilities with the incorporation of excellent hygiene protocols. We have also modified our supply chains to the situation and made our production more flexible with intelligent automation, which enables us to react quickly to changing circumstances.”

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