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Employeneur Lefranc Loupias develops Smoothie Maker Cobot

Our Employeneurship model offers our experts the opportunity of optimized personal development. Employeneurship is about thinking and acting like an entrepreneur, with the added security of employment. But more than anything, it is a guarantee for continuous development and the opportunity to really be fully responsible for the direction of your career. This also goes for Lefranc Loupias, Employeneur at TMC Industrial Automation, now working as a Design Engineer Automation at MSD. “TMC gives you carte blanche, as long as it contributes to your own personal development. Together with my colleagues Menno Verborg and Peter van Gemert we’ve been given the chance, besides our daily activities, to develop an EyeCatcher in TMC's Entrepreneurial Lab that prepares smoothies. We expect to be showing a working demo by November of this year.”

“With this Cobot, I’d like to show other Employeneurs how much fun the combination of a Cobot and a PLC can be.”

What led to the idea of the smoothie making Cobot was Lefranc’s wish for other Employeneurs to become familiar with the combination of robotics and programming a PLC (Programmable Logic Controller). “There’s a lot of reluctance towards the application of Cobots. They are often considered as complex and scary installations. And that’s a pity. With this Cobot, I’d like to show the Employeneurs at TMC Industrial Automation, as well as beyond my own business cell how much fun the combination of a Cobot and a PLC can be.”

Cross-boundary collaboration 

The Smoothie Maker Cobot is developed the TMC Entrepreneurial Lab, or TEL. Here, the Employeneurs get the opportunity to collaborate and experiment cross-boundary, thus realizing their ideas. The Smoothie Maker Cobot has been pitched in front of the TMC board. Once convinced of the benefits for TMC, a budget was allocated. 

Sponsors

Lefranc reached out to various TMC partners to procure the necessary components. Eventually he found Eddie Mennen from Yaskawa, Ron van de Wiel from Bosch Rexroth and Jeroen van den Heuvel from ZVS Techniek to be prepared to supply respectively the robotic arm, the PLC and the gripper. “The collaboration with these parties is extremely good and we value their contribution tremendously. In a while we will offer them the possibility to exhibit the Smoothie Maker Cobot at trade shows as a token of our appreciation, allowing visitors to see with their own eyes an example of how the products may be deployed.”

Project Leader 

Lefranc works on this Cobot on average one night a week together with his two colleagues. “To me it’s a great way to discover my strengths and weaknesses. Not only am I responsible for the robotics and the PLC, but as a Project Leader I also help my fellow team members whenever they’re stuck. That contributes a lot to my development and to my search for what I actually love doing the most. It just makes me happy to be busy with something else rather than what I usually do 40 hours a week.”

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