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Case Study: How one company boosted their production to support increased demand due to COVID-19

POSTED 11/02/2020

When you manufacture ventilator components and a global pandemic takes hold, demand for your product is going to substantially increase. So, how do you deal with this quickly, efficiently and still minimizing the risk of virus exposure to your team?

Alicat Scientific needed to double production to support skyrocketing COVID-19 demand for ventilator mass flow meters, mass flow controllers, and pressure controllers. The manufacturer was already thinking about automating their production, however, now there was an increased urgency at which they needed to implement a solution. They couldn’t afford to wait for weeks or months for something to be designed. Additionally, the safety of their team was paramount so Alicat also needed a solution that could be implemented rapidly by their own people to limit outside exposure.


Rapid deployment and ease-of-use were critical decision factors

The company selected an automation solution from READY Robotics. Rapid deployment and ease-of-use were critical decision factors for them. It was also important that their chosen solution was one that they could maintain and troubleshoot themselves - in order to minimize downtime as well as dependency on third-parties. The READY solution incorporated a standard SCHUNK gripper in the automation package that they supplied to Alicat. The SCHUNK PZN-Plus 80-1 gripper was selected to serve this application due to its accurate gripping repeatability, precise handling and adjustability of gripper fingers to accommodate a wider range of permissible part sizes – the fact that this standard gripper checked all the boxes and was available quickly meant that it was ideal to meet Alicat’s specific needs.


READY trusts that when they order SCHUNK they are receiving the most reliable, capable, versatile grippers on the market.

Cory Raizor, Regional Sales Manager for SCHUNK, who has worked with READY Robotics for some years knew that READY would select the best SCHUNK gripper for the task: "Through years of solving unique and challenging applications, Ready Robotics has come to standardize the use of SCHUNK grippers for rugged applications. Ready trusts that when they order SCHUNK they are receiving the most reliable, capable, versatile grippers on the market. SCHUNK offers a vast ecosystem of accompanying accessories guaranteed to function with the gripper to expand the scope of work that each End-of-Arm-tool can perform.”

“This particular application was extremely well suited to the flagship PZN-Plus centric gripper and UZB combination because it ensures a repeatable gripping and handling process while still allowing adjustability of the gripper fingers."

“This solution has performed beyond our expectations. From programming it ourselves in three days, to running lights out in 10 days, to paying for itself in the first month - we couldn’t be more pumped. We’re looking for the next task to automate!” says Greg Camron, Machine Shop Manager, Alicat Scientific.