The first Rabo Robo Challenge was concluded during the Robo Ready event at AWL in Harderwijk on November 29th. The participants received their individual reports describing the possibilities for cognitive robotics applications in their businesses. The overall results are promising: Advanced automation possibilities were discovered for each of the participating companies.

At the end of an inspiring afternoon and a tour through the Industrial Robotics Fieldlab, the participants received the report about their companies. The event marked the end of a four-month journey during which some thirty participants learned, with the support of Rabobank, Accenture and RoboValley how they could make use of smart robotics.


Robots to relieve workers
The Rabo Robo Challenge proved valuable. “It provided us with new insights that we will look into”, Rob Bastinck from De Jong DUKE, a manufacturer of coffee machines and one of the participants, says. Bastinck is about to move production to a new facility, which makes now a good moment to think about automation possibilities. For example, the lifting of heavy machines could be performed by robots. “That could ease the work for our employees.”

“If you want to grow, you’ll have to explore new opportunities”

Rabobank, Accenture and RoboValley organised the Rabo Robo Challenge because they want to support companies and help them to grow. “If you want to grow, you’ll have to explore new opportunities”, sector specialist Industry from Rabobank Kees de Schipper says. “These new opportunities lie in the field of robotics. We find it important that our customers can explore the possibilities it offers. We are convinced robotics can contribute to future business models.”

Concrete recommendations to automate
Over the last months, consultants from Accenture visited the participating companies and analysed the production processes. “It resulted in concrete recommendations to automate”, Dennis Kersten from Accenture tells. “Besides that, the entrepreneurs have become part of a network of people who will help them take on the challenge of implementing smart robotics.”

“It resulted in concrete recommendations to automate”

Engbert Wilmink from Dynamic Ear Company, another participant, took part in the Rabo Robo Challenge because he wants to further automate parts of his production process. His company makes hearing protection. Wilmink wanted to find out how he could robotise the packaging process of his products. “The report I received describes some production steps that we could automate. We are certainly going to work on it.”

Rabo Robo Challenge delivers results
“What we have noticed is that companies really need guidance in introducing robotics systems into their processes, because it is often very complex. But it does lead to results!”, Jaimy Siebel from RoboValley concludes. Every entrepreneur who participated in the Rabo Robo Challenge has discovered one or more aspects of their company where they can benefit from the use of smart systems. “We are curious what this will bring. Because it is now up to the entrepreneur himself to take the next steps.”