The Rodon Group Adds Baxter, America’s First Adaptive Manufacturing Robot to its Automated Facility

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A new manufacturing robot named Baxter has found a home at The Rodon Group. Baxter is the brainchild of Rethink Robotics of Boston, MA.

Baxter, America’s First Adaptive Manufacturing Robot

Baxter, America’s First Adaptive Manufacturing Robot

As a custom molder Rodon has a myriad of requirements that constantly evolve with new jobs, and the versatility of Baxter will be a huge asset moving forward”, said Tony Hofmann, Rodon’s Facility Manager.

A new manufacturing robot named Baxter has found a home at The Rodon Group. Baxter is the brainchild of Rethink Robotics of Boston, MA. This new manufacturing tool is a user-friendly robot created to help American manufacturing companies compete more effectively. The robot can be used to complete repetitive production tasks and will complement The Rodon Group’s highly automated facility.

According to Rethink, “Baxter is America’s first adaptive manufacturing robot. Designed to use common sense and work safely alongside people, it will take U.S. manufacturers’ productivity to new heights—and deliver a true competitive edge.”

The Rodon Group, a high volume plastic injection molder, is on the cutting edge of the automation revolution. “Rodon’s automation partner ONExia has been instrumental in helping Rodon become an early adopter of Baxter. Being the competant integrators they are, ONExia knew the wide range of tasks we expect from our robots. As a custom molder Rodon has a myriad of requirements that constantly evolve with new jobs, and the versatility of Baxter will be a huge asset moving forward”, said Tony Hofmann, Rodon’s Facility Manager.

Less complicated tasks are perfectly suited to Baxter. Within a few hours of testing, Baxter was packing boxes on The Rodon Group’s factory floor. With built in sensors to make Baxter “aware” of its surroundings, this robot can be deployed near people and trained by the workers it is assisting. No lines of programming are necessary.

A big advantage is that Baxter does not require safety guarding or enclosures. Working alongside one of Rodon’s operators, Baxter can be shown how to perform a task and be re-purposed as needed. Rethink Robotics estimates it takes 10 minutes to train Baxter to do a task. This allows the plant operators to focus on more complex and production-critical assignments. Initially, Baxter will be utilized to help pack K’NEX construction toys, specifically tracks for the Mario Kart Wii ™ racing sets but there are several other applications in mind for down the road.

The commitment to American Manufacturing is clearly demonstrated at The Rodon Group. Rethink Robotics is working to support this mission through the development of Baxter. This robot will help improve the productivity on the factory floor and allow people to focus on more value added work, thus helping to keep production from going off-shore. These robots are designed and manufactured in the U.S and Rodon is excited about this new technology investment.

More information about Rethink Robotics and Onexia can be found at http://www.rethinkrobotics.com; http://www.onexia.com

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About The Rodon Group
The Rodon Group is an ISO 9001:2008 certified landfill-free, plastic injection molder. In business since 1956,The Rodon Group makes billions of parts each year in its 125,000 square foot facility. With over 105 injection molding presses, Rodon is one of the largest family-owned and operated plastic injection molders in the United States and serves a diverse group of industries including consumer products, medical, construction, pharmaceutical and toys. Since 1992, Rodon has manufactured over 30 billion parts for the K'NEX building toy system, and is a subsidiary of K'NEX Brands, L.P.

About K’NEX Brands
Founded in 1992, K’NEX Brands, the world’s most innovative construction toy company, was established to make and sell what has become one of the world’s leading integrated construction systems for children. Winner of over 200 international awards and recognitions, K’NEX is America’s building toy company focused on Building Worlds Kids Love, and encourages youngsters to “imagine, build and play.”

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Jill Worth
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