KMT Robotic Solutions responds quickly to repair flood damaged robotic system at Tier II supplier
by Roberta Zald, Director, Business Development
Shape Process Automation (formerly Dynamic Robotic Solutions)
On Saturday, May 1, 2010, the Cumberland River overflowed its banks and caused extensive flooding in Nashville, TN. For three (3) days a Tier II supplier to a major Automotive OEM located in the flood zone remained inundated with flood waters and posed a risk of causing production stoppage at the automobile assembly plant. Quick action by the Tier I supplier and the KMT Robotic Solutions Aftermarket Team prevented any disruption in the flow of parts.
The robotic controllers on the KMT Robotic Solutions JetTool® system used by the Tier II supplier were completely submerged by the flood. Fortunately the robot arms are positioned over the trimming area on an elevated structure and were not touched by the flood waters. Needless to say, water, sludge, electricity and electronics do not mix well, so the controllers were completely destroyed and needed to be replaced quickly after the flood water receded.
On Tuesday, May 4th, the Tier I supplier contacted KMT Robotics Solutions requesting emergency support in bringing the Tier II supplier back up to production. With the existing controllers completely destroyed, arrangements were made by KMT Robotic Solutions to locate two replacement controllers, reconfigure the software to be compatible with the Tier II’s existing robot system, and deliver them to the affected facility. The reconfigured controllers were delivered on May 6th.
On Friday, May 7th, two KMT Robotic Solutions technicians and a group of electricians and other support personnel from the Tier I supplier arrived at the plant. The robot controllers were installed, all electrical systems cleaned and restored, flood residue removed, and test runs were performed on the robots. After all repairs and clean-up were completed, the facility was back up and running normal production by Saturday, May 8th.
Working together as a team, KMT Robotic Solutions, the Tier I supplier, FANUC Robotics, and the Tier II supplier, responded quickly to a serious supply problem, and prevented any disruption to the flow of parts to the Automotive OEM, which prevented a stoppage of production at the assembly plant.
This unfortunate flood incident gave all parties involved a chance to show how American industry can work together as a team to keep the wheels of industry humming. It also highlighted that KMT Robotic Solutions is ready, willing and able to go above and beyond to support our customers.