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Robotization and artificial intelligence at Jastrzębskie Zakłady Remontowe

Jastrzębskie Zakłady Remontowe (a JSW Group company) has launched its first fully robotic station for production of mining machinery and equipment components. JZR's management announces the robotization of more of the company's manufacturing processes based on AI (Artificial Intelligence). The company is thus fulfilling the strategic objectives of undertaking innovation and development activities in the product area and the organization of its operational activities.

photos: Dawid Lach

The new fully robotic station, which was launched in December 2023 in one of the Company's 9 production halls at the site of the former Krupiński mine, produces rollers for belt conveyors. The production is performed by three handling robots, two welding robots and a CNC machine tool cooperating with the robot. 

As a result, the production process is much more efficient, repeatable with constant quality control with fewer employees. Production efficiency increased by 26 percent, while the required number of workers employed on the line fell by half.

- Production process robotization enables us to implement the processes more efficiently. It will be faster, cheaper and more accurate. Robotization of production stations is also a response to the widespread shortage of qualified personnel - says Rafał Rychter, president of Jastrzębskie Zakłady Remontowe. - We are currently focusing on the automation and robotization of processes related to the production of rollers for belt conveyors. But it doesn't stop there. The subject of our current further analyses is also the practical implementation of solutions based on artificial intelligence (AI) - among others in the management of selected processes like production and logistics - adds Rychter.

In September 2023, JZR's Management Board established a special task force on robotization of production processes. Members of the task force have already reviewed the solutions available and practically implemented in industrial plants based on robotization of production processes, including those using AI. This was followed by an analysis of possible types of robotic processes that could be implemented on existing production lines at JZR. As part of the above activities, the Company is standardizing its production processes in order to assess which of them should be put "in the hands of robots" - taking into account the criteria of the size of production batches of manufactured products, repeatability and quality requirements. Also important are the logistics processes associated with robotic systems, which should ensure uninterrupted delivery and collection of finished components from robotic stations. These processes require extensive, logical analysis and optimization - to simplify transportation, storage and other logistics operations within these stations.

- I hope that later this year we will agree on more areas to automate, where we will put more production processes into the "hands of robots."  Robotization for companies like Jastrzębskie Zakłady Remontowe is a necessity these days. In line with the current market trend - robotization of production processes is becoming an increasingly common activity - which is well summarized by the statement: "We are striving for solutions in which people work with robots, not like robots - says Rafał Rychter, president of JZR.

- It is particularly important for us to put significantly repetitive welding, machining and assembly processes into the hands of robots. Robots easily work in not only harsh but also harmful conditions, thanks to which, first of all, the health of our employees is protected, but also the risk of human error is eliminated. The installation of equipment also has a positive impact on the precision of even the most difficult operations, which consequently also affects the high repeatable quality of manufactured products - adds Rafał Rychter.

The beneficiary of the changes introduced at Jastrzębskie Zakłady Remontowe is Jastrzębska Spółka Węglowa, which receives products manufactured on modern production lines that ensure the required quality and production efficiency - thus guaranteeing lower unit costs in the product life cycle.

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