Using Collaborative Robots in Regular Operations
As a regular part of product development, we test product stability to ensure that customers can use our products with peace of mind. In particular, during the development of liquid products, such as liquid laundry detergents and fabric softeners, sample formulations must be dispensed into numerous test containers for testing in multiple environments. In some cases, researchers must fill around 200 containers in a day, a process that used to take around 100 minutes. Now, by adopting collaborative robots that work alongside researchers at our R&D facilities, we have successfully automated the process of filling test containers with test formulations and capping them. As a result, this work, which used to take up to 100 minutes per day per person, or more than 20% of their daily scheduled work time, can now be left to robots, freeing up more time for researchers to spend on higher-added-value research. Going forward, we will broadly advance the use of robots to automate repetitive tasks like this within research and development and, by combining them with artificial intelligence (AI), enable researchers to perform experiments remotely while working from home.