In Switzerland, MHVJ (Manufacture Horlogère Vallée de Joux) handles virtually every facet of watch movement making. From machining, profile-turning, burnishing, cutting and escapement-making to complete watch assembly, 40% of MHVJ operations are done by hand. The group recently incorporated a Stäubli robotic arm into its industrial process. Paired with two numerically controlled machines, this simple, flexible and user-friendly industrial robot considerably streamlines the process.
Precision Swiss watchmaker MHVJ (which belongs to the Festina Group) has incorporated a Stäubli industrial robot into its plant. With its intuitive controls, this robotic arm is very easy to use and delivers flexibility and significant time savings. Freed from repetitive tasks, operators can now focus on value-added operations.
A bold step forward: Integrating robotics into the manufacturing process
Swiss watchmaker MHVJ Group (short for Manufacture Horlogère Vallée de Joux) is part of the Festina Group. The group is made up of nine corporate entities in Switzerland including Soprod, which MHVJ works with directly to develop and manufacture new movements. The Group markets the Festina, Lotus, Jaguar, and Candino brands, as well as Perrelet and Leroy, for whom MHVJ manufactures and assembles all watch parts.
« At our factory, our 26 employees handle virtually every facet of movement making », says MHVJ operational director Olivier Pavillon. « From machining, profile-turning, burnishing, cutting and escapement-making, to complete watch assembly. »
With 40% of manufacturing done by hand, integrating robots into a factory like this might seem like a bold move, but “the robotics solution has given us greater flexibility and saves us time in our manufacturing processes,” says Olivier Pavillon.
Coupled with 2 numerical controls, the robot delivers major flexibility
For its purposes, MHVJ integrated a Stäubli industrial robot coupled with two +GF+ numerically controlled machines. In terms of automation, the robotic arm presents the benefit of greater flexibility. « This robot is flexible enough that we can use it for machining operations with a single machine or two connected machines. We can also use it simply for smoothing parts », explains Lionel Vanotti, head of machining.
The perfect blend of traditional watchmaking expertise and modern production technologies
All the company’s watchmakers are happy with the Stäubli robot. It is easy to use and the controls are highly intuitive.
« The robotic arm takes care of the repetitive tasks », says Lionel Vanotti. That means watchmakers can focus on value-added tasks like dimensional, comparator, gauge inspections or quality control.
Integrating the robot into our short and medium production runs has resulted in the perfect blend of traditional watchmaking expertise and modern production technologies.Olivier Pavillon
Benefits of the Stäubli robotic solution:
Easy to use
Takes over repetitive tasks so humans can focus on value-added operations