Our History

Our origins begin in 1985 with a firm focus on printed circuit boards in the electronics manufacturing industry. In that period, hand assembly was a critical element of every PCB manufactured thanks to the widespread use of ‘through-hole’ components. Despite the prevalence of surface mount circuit technology today, hand assembly remains a key process in the production of many PCBs and electronic subassemblies. Components including power semiconductors, switches, connectors, keypads, coils, transformers and displays are just some of the many challenging devices that are still typically assembled by hand. Any part of a manufacturing process undertaken by hand is inevitably open to human error. That’s why the original Robotas objective, pioneered by founder Dave Walters, was to develop easy-to-use system solutions that would guide an operator to select and fit the correct component to the right place on the circuit board every time. But it also had to be affordable… that’s how the first Mascot was born. The Mascot Evolution We were hugely successful, thanks to the imaginative use of computerised visual work instructions to guide the hand assembly process with minimal user training; an overhead laser system to quite literally pinpoint the exact target location on the circuit board; and a set of smart motorised carousels to deliver the correct part directly to the operator. The same concept is behind every Mascot system in use today – over 1,500 of them installed around the world – but now there are several different, modular configurations available from standalone stations to inline production-flow models. Many Mascots are in constant use in prestigious manufacturing premises tasked with producing some the world’s most desirable electronics consumer goods; while others assemble crucial circuit assemblies for defence, aerospace and other sensitive industrial applications where 100% reliability of the product is essential. In these applications, the accuracy, speed and ultimate manufacturing quality offered by Mascot is invaluable. You can find out more about Mascot here. And then came Sigma Taking the Mascot concept one stage further drove the Robotas development team into exciting new territories. The operator guided procedure lends itself to almost every type of hand assembly process. We paired our successful motorised carousel concept with a computerised set of instructions that break down the assembly steps, making it exceptionally easy for operators to perform, without them being aware of the underlying complex family tree subassembly structure. In short, this gave rise to our new Sigma system. Sigma is exceptionally versatile and can be adapted to almost any hand assembly process. As well as individual assembly steps, Sigma features video clips and clever indicators to ensure operators use the correct tool and assembly method at every step. You can find out more about Sigma here. Now our development team concentrates on refining both the Mascot and Sigma hand assembly systems, adding new functions, features and capabilities. We also help some of our customers integrate our system solutions into their manufacturing lines, which often demands custom configurations or engineering developments. Contact us for more details of how our expertise can boost your manufacturing productivity.
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