Manufacturing a Stronger Standard: Richard Wilcox and LestaUSA Increasing Customers’ Production with New Automation Systems

Achieving automation on the finishing side requires many pieces—two of the most important being the conveyor system and robotics. Host of Manufacturing a Stronger Standard Derek DeGeest spoke with Systems Sales Manager Matt Chorski of Richards-Wilcox Conveyors about their partnership as an Authorized Equipment Partner of LestaUSA while at FABTECH 2021.

Chorski described the company: “We started in 1888. In 1920, we built the first enclosed track with a manual push conveyor. Since then, we’ve been adding more power and automation.”

LestaUSA and Richards-Wilcox started their partnership with, as they called it, a “unique” project. Chorski said, “A local integrator recommended us, and the entire team worked together to meet the challenge and requirements.”

In explaining how conveyors and robotics work together, Chorski called the robot the “quarterback.” The robot is critical, but it doesn’t do the job on its own. The conveyor is essential to streamlining and automating.

For companies looking to automate their lines, they should think about material handling before the robot. “It depends on the application, part size, capacity, and loading to complete the entire process of a part coming through painted and ready to go,” Chorski added.

DeGeest and Chorski also spoke about robotics and conveyors for small spaces and businesses and various materials. “What I initially thought about robots is that they were only for high volume. That’s not true. Those with smaller footprints can fully automate and benefit from it.” Chorski also noted, “It can be plastic or wood, including doors and windows.”

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