21. Aug 2019
Paul Köster GmbH invests in automation
Medebach. In the end, it’s about delivering the best quality, offering outstanding reliability, and performing with pure efficiency. Industrial production processes are not only becoming increasingly complex and faster - they’re also constantly demanding new solutions. The key word here is “automation”. State-of-the-art machines and robots as well as smartly developed software programs are assuming more and more roles in these processes. And all the while, the employee oversees the controlling side of things. In order to meet individual customer requirements, Medebach-based company Paul Köster continuously invests in automation-related endeavors. More than 150,000 euros are currently flowing into a new training setup. In the future, three so-called “training cells” will offer in-house training courses that deal with the three most common types of robots. These courses will be available to customers as well as the company’s own employees.
At Paul Köster GmbH, automation means linking machines to form a production line in which various processes run automatically. Industrial robots, for example, are increasingly being used in this respect. In addition to mechanical engineering, their performance relies heavily on software and database systems. With the help of these modern automation systems, product quality can be significantly improved. After all, manual transport bears the great risk of having workpieces ending up damaged or mixed up; this leads to expensive and time-consuming consequences in production. “With this investment, we are responding to the rapid development in the field of automation and offering our customers even better service,” says Christopher Köster. “In concrete terms, this means that when it comes to robot grippers and automation, we also offer our customers a perfectly tailored overall package that spans from the concept’s initial development to the final on-site installation.” The robot education and advanced training courses are held for both Paul Köster GmbH employees and customer employees in the training cells at Paul Köster in Medebach. Generally speaking, the training can be broadened, rounded off, and completed at the customer’s company headquarters.
Challenging occupational fields thanks to enormous vertical range of manufacture
This practice not only has great advantages for the customer. This is also the case for the current and future specialists at Paul Köster GmbH, who installed the first gripper for industrial robots back in 2004 and are faced with new and challenging tasks every day. After all, due to the enormous vertical range of manufacture and individual customer requirements, new solutions have to be found for each and every order and product. This increases satisfaction not only among customers, but also among the workforce itself. “Our automation engineers work with all robot types. Their areas of responsibility include programming the robots, developing the software modules and PLC programs, and, of course, commissioning the system directly at the customer’s site. This guarantees an exciting and varied working environment with a high level of detail on a daily basis.”
Whereas in the past, so-called gantry technology with gigantic systems in the production halls of industrial companies was inflexible and could only be used for one purpose, industrial robots provide much more flexibility. “Modern robots are cheaper, more flexible, smaller, faster, can be retrofitted, save costs, and relieve the strain (especially physically) on employees. Customers want flexible production lines in which, for example, the robot gripper can be replaced as required. For these production lines, the concept of having everything from a single source is in greater demand than ever,” emphasizes Christopher Köster. The best example of the challenging and exciting work that’s done at Köster comes in the form of a successful cylinder head assembly project: 16 robots intelligently work together while communicating and functioning smoothly. The Medebach machine manufacturer has certainly answered the question of whether a high level of automation and the use of robots comes off as competition or whether it makes work easier for employees. “By using robots, the workers can deal with more important activities that have a greater added value. Monotonous and physically demanding activities are a thing of the past,” says Christopher Köster.
Individual overall concepts that aren’t of the cookie-cutter variety
At Paul Köster, the goal is to offer the customer individually detailed overall concepts. In other words, cookie-cutter approaches don’t exist; instead, they’re tailor-made. With the new robot training cells in place, the advanced qualification that Köster specialists gain in handling the robots of the three renowned manufacturers is important here. “Together with the customer, our specialists develop the best possible linkage between the machines. Spatial conditions, reliability, and, of course, costs are important criteria here. Once the design has been completed, the systems are meticulously planned, produced, and - after undergoing thorough testing in the Medebach plant - installed and put into operation at the customer’s site,” explains Christopher Köster.
The globally active specialty machine manufacturer from Medebach has carried a very good reputation on the market for a long time now. Mechanically, the Köster automation systems are extremely stable, durable and especially designed for rough production conditions. All interfaces are cleanly configured at the customer’s site and put through their paces. After all, they have to deliver the best quality, offering outstanding reliability and perform with pure efficiency.