April 1, 2024

The Importance of Human Brainpower in Hipshot’s Robotic Polishing Application

Hipshot & The Bass Xtender

Hipshot, a manufacturer of top-notch quality hardware for guitar and basses, faced ongoing labor and production challenges in their deburring and polishing operation – a task considered to be one of the dull, dirty, dangerous applications of robotics. Seeking increased consistency, quality, and production, Hipshot aimed to integrate a robotic solution to polish their Bass Xtender key. The Bass Xtender product line is a patented extender key that allows bassists to instantly drop the tuning of the low string and bring it back up again with the flip of a lever. The objective of integrating a robot was not to cut staff, but to automate the least desirable processes, enabling team members to focus on higher complexity or value-added tasks.

Adaptec Partnership & Solution

Site Visit & Process Analysis

A comprehensive site visit was conducted to understand the existing deburring and polishing process.

Collaborative Approach

Adaptec proposed a solution that provided robotic programming expertise with Hipshot actively participating in teaching the robotic system how to polish the part. This collaborative effort aimed to mitigate the risk of unfamiliarity with the process and allowed Hipshot to optimize robot motions.

Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) Integration

Adaptec enhanced the solution by incorporating a VFD to the polishing wheel, enabling the adjustment of speed during the polishing process. This provides a level of control not previously possible. The VFD integration transformed a highly manual process into a repeatable and adjustable one, ensuring consistency in output and adaptability to different requirements.

Customizations for Unique Requirements

Special Trays Design: Adaptec collaborated with the customer to design special trays for holding parts, facilitating the loading and unloading of the robot without manual intervention. This customization was essential to meet the unique requirements of Hipshot’s automation needs.

Key Results

The solution significantly enhanced the repeatability of the deburring and polishing process, ensuring consistent quality in the finished products. The implemented automation allowed the process to run without the need for a physical operator presence, contributing to operational flexibility.

Close up of yellow industrial robot with Adaptec Solutions sticker on the side.
Steel tray holding three bass xtender key guitar parts.
Wide angle view of robot cell with yellow robot, tray for loading and unloading parts, and polishing wheel.
Yellow industrial robot with close up of end of arm tool.
Close up image of three bass xtender guitar keys.
Close up image of automated polishing wheel.
Image of yellow industrial robot and automated polishing wheel for robotic cell.
Side angle of yellow industrial robot polishing a bass xtender key.
Close up of yellow robot polishing bass xtender key on polishing wheel.

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