RoboJob’s partnership with Okuma in Australia and New Zealand has resulted in a first sale, just a few months after the relationship was officially signed into effect.

Belgian robotics technology and solution company RoboJob is a market-leading specialist in the automatic loading and unloading of CNC machinery. It commenced its activities in the ANZ region last year after it reached an agreement with the Australian branch of Okuma, the Japanese market leader in CNC turning and milling machines. Under the terms of their partnership agreement, Okuma is selling, installing and servicing RoboJob automation solutions throughout Australia and New Zealand.

RoboJob’s Turn-Assist and Mill-Assist series of equipment are integrated solutions that enable the automatic loading and unloading of turning and milling machines. A key element of each is the interactive controller, whereby basic dimensions are asked for and input by the operator, allowing quick set-up or changeovers to occur, making important short batch work much more viable. Both systems can be used for a wide range of dimensions (standard ø 5 to 400mm) and weights (up until 700 kg).

The portability of the equipment between machines is also a major advantage. Once set up, ‘after hours’ performance monitoring can be added via the internet or simply by phone for alarms or completion signals.

Now, only a few months after its partnership with RoboJob was made official, Okuma has already secured its first sale of a Turn-Assist system.

“Our customer is a typical technical parts supplier,” explains Phil Hayes, Managing Director of Okuma Australia. “A family business in Adelaide, South Australia, that specialises in high-quality and very precise parts, which are applied in various industries. With nearly 50 years’ experience they have excellent machinery, which they use to offer turning and milling services.

“Flexibility, quality and short delivery times are very important to them, which has led them to invest in their machinery to further improve those strengths. So we will now install a Turn-Assist 250 at an Okuma LB4000 EX x 1500.”

In addition to landing the actual sale, Okuma will also perform the installation of the system itself, having completed extensive training at RoboJob.

“We have certified the Okuma Service Team after their technical team received an extensive training at RoboJob,” explains RoboJob co-founder and CEO Helmut De Roovere, and he is fully confident that everything will go smoothly with the first installation.

“Our installation specialist travelled to Melbourne this autumn, to install a Turn-Assist 250 on an Okuma CNC lathe in the showroom of Okuma Australia,” he adds. “That installation was performed together with the service team of Okuma. We are therefore convinced that the installation at Okuma’s customer will run as smoothly as the installation at Okuma. After all, their people have all the necessary theoretical knowledge and practical experience that is needed.”

RoboJob was founded in 2007 as a subsidiary of Aluro Group in order to autonomously focus on increasing the profitability of the manufacturing industry. In recent years, this industry has faced significant erosion of gross margins as a result of changing market conditions. With over 25 years of experience in the manufacturing industry, and more than 40 years in machine building, RoboJob draws on a wealth of industry experience and technical know-how to build highly user-friendly standard solutions that can help the machining industry maintain and build its profitability.

Okuma Australia and Okuma New Zealand are both subsidiaries of the Okuma Corporation, based in Japan, and a worldwide leader in the production, sales and service of highly productive CNC machine tools, factory automation and support services.

Hayes is optimistic that this first sale represents the start of what will be a long series of successful results for his company’s partnership with RoboJob.

“This confirms our belief that here ‘Down Under’ there is a rapidly expanding demand for automation of small and medium parts production,” says Hayes. “Our customer quickly understood how flexible the Turn-Assist is. RoboJob has seen to it that the programming only takes a few minutes, which allows for an easy switch from one job to the next. Since we have also installed a Turn-Assist in our own showroom, it’s even easier to convince customers of the qualities of this flexible and compact solution.”

“The first hurdles have been taken in Australia,” De Roovere concludes. “We are all ready to further assist our customers in 2015, wherever they may be.”