RC Williams is a true Adelaide success story. Founded by Ron Williams in 1967, RC Williams began as a small family business. Their evolution into precision, repetition and general engineering is today run by Nick and Sam Williams, who as third generation Williams’ continue the tradition started by Ron.

With a workshop full of machines, RC Williams capabilities include design, reverse engineering, manual and automated machinery, light to medium fabrication as well as general maintenance. With a wealth of knowledge in a broad range of industries, RC Williams is a one stop shop with production runs from one to thousands of parts varying in complexity.

The issue for any machine shop, is to make the right choice from a multitude of competing technologies, to identify the trade-offs, and, where feasible, to combine the most sophisticated technologies and programming strategies. RC Williams are a great example of a business that has carefully selected a range of manual and automated machinery over the years, used in combination with their talented engineering team to deliver quality workpieces, precisely and as promised.

Back in 2021 RC Williams came to ASA looking to fit out their Multitasking Okuma U3000 machine with a fully flexible, reliable FANUC robot system, with the ultimate goal to run their machine unmanned 24/7 to increase productivity due to high demand for products and workpieces. At that time with Covid-19 impacting shutdowns across the world, robot ex-factory times were beginning to be impacted, while RC Williams were keen to get their Okuma U3000 serviced by a robot as soon as possible.

To turn around a solution to get this machine operating 24/7, and in a timely manner, ASA had to come up with a creative solution. With a warehouse in Adelaide housing a small fleet of reconditioned robots with low hours, ASA deployed one of the stock demonstration units to RC Williams, with a view to replace that robot once the new one arrived. Pat Green, Director of ASA, said ‘Covid affected lead times on brand new robots substantially, so we needed to think outside the box to come up with a way to help our customers meet their automation goals sooner.’ 

Early this year ASA installed one of their FANUC R2000iB demonstration units to temporarily tend to RC Williams Okuma U3000, which increased throughput significantly by tending to the machine around the clock to unload machined parts and reload raw stock as soon as the machine was ready. All of the electrical and physical installation was done at this time knowing in the back of their minds that the robot would be swapped out when the new one arrived, so commonality in design of the baseplate, end effector brackets and the like was critical to reduce time and cost when it came to switching the robots over. Installing a low hours demonstration unit as a temporary installation allowed ASA to decrease the wait time for the customer, whilst providing an immediate return on investment. Because the robot was in stock, the solution was able to be turned around very quickly, much to the delight of RC Williams.

Recently ASA returned to RC Williams to remove and replace the reconditioned robot with a brand new FANUC M710/45M. The FANUC M710/45M was chosen from a unique lineup of lightweight FANUC robots for RC Williams. The M710iC/45M features a slender wrist, robust arm and high axis speeds. It’s 2606mm reach and 45kg payload make it an obvious choice to tend to an Okuma U3000.

Pat Green noted ‘New CNC equipment and automation is a significant investment for an SME, and so it’s critical to get that equipment repaying the investment as soon as possible. At ASA, we are acutely aware that our customers aren’t buying a robot to have a robot, they’re buying extended production hours, that second and third shift, that completed production run on Monday morning. This solution for RC Williams helped bring about that reality 4 months early.’

Time to remove and replace the robot was less than 48 hours, Sam Williams, Director of RC Williams commented that ‘The knowledge and experience of the ASA staff ensured a smooth transition with minimal disruption to production. Having the loan robot in 4 months early helped enormously with our production requirements and gave us a chance to explore the full flexibility
of the system before the brand new robot was installed.’

RC Williams remains proudly Australian owned making Australian parts out of their machine shop in Adelaide, to find out more or contact RC Williams, visit:

www.rcwilliams.com.au