Selected Case Studies from the DRL files

Design and build a high volume order preparation system (inspiration for InnoPick)

A beverage distributor wanted to automate the preparation of mixed pallets of its highest moving products. DRL conducted a thorough industry-wide technology survey and discovered that there were no standard technologies that could meet the combination of ROI, space usage, ergonomics, redundancy and reliability requirements. Using its expertise in custom engineering and know-how from various industries, DRL developed technologies that met the objectives. DRL Systems has since continued an ongoing technology development effort which has led to a complete, patented technology portfolio to meet more general market needs.

Design and build a high-speed picture frame production line

The biggest manufacturer of picture frames in North America, under pressure from Asian imports, needed to increase productivity dramatically to stay in business. DRL Systems, with no previous experience in the industry, designed and custom built 80% of a production line; this included gluing, cutting and packaging machines, as well as frame, mirror and cardboard assembly machines: Productivity more than doubled and capacity increased significantly. As a result, the manufacturer has been able to profitably stay in business while most of its local competitors closed.

Straighten and anneal lengths of alloy wires as they exit the furnace

An established European specialty metal alloy manufacturer (one of only two in the world for these alloys) selected DRL Systems for their innovative approach in solving their problem of straightening, performing a stress relief and annealing procedure on strands of molten alloy wires without interrupting the output of the induction furnace.

Retrofit an existing press to manufacture a new product line.

DRL Systems upgraded the press of a manufacturer of laminate flooring tiles. Placement of the 4’x8’ laminate panels to within a tolerance of 0.5mm enabled the manufacturer to introduce a new line of tiles with an embossed simulated grout border for added realism. DRL recently completed the upgrade of a second press that included a vision system to reference and align wood grain patterns for the purpose of creating a line of natural-looking embossed flooring products

Build a custom turnkey system to inspect returned goods

Within a 10-day period , DRL Systems designed, constructed, installed and commissioned a custom computer-controlled system to inspect truckloads of returned merchandise. DRL Systems’ fast turnaround and custom engineering allowed the customer to quickly inspect the goods, separate the sub-standard merchandise, and then repackage and ship the quality product.

Cut costs by replacing a manual welding operation with a robot work cell

A manufacturer of aluminum outdoor furniture had installed a robot welding system to replace its manual welding operation. Improper fixture design and inadequate control of the robot welding process resulted in poor production that persisted for more than 12 months after installation. The manufacturer was preparing to sell the robot and abandon the project. DRL Systems designed a system of quick change fixtures and improved the welding process performance. Production rates surged, and instead of scrapping the project, the manufacturer purchased a second robot and ordered the construction of a second work cell.

Cut costs by automating the assembly of multi-roll gift-wrap packages

A gift-wrap manufacturer had attempted without success to automate a manual line to package multiple rolls of gift-wrap over a 20-year period. DRL Systems developed a modular 6-machine system. Each machine extracts, orients and drops a single roll onto a conveyor. The conveyor outputs complete multi-roll packages that are ready for end capping and shrink wrapping.