Roofing manufacturer’s robotic arm improved safety and created a more diverse workforce

By David Huval, RoofConnect and RT3 member.

OMG Roofing Products recently hosted the RT3 Live Meetup at its headquarters in Agawam, Massachusetts where RT3 members were treated to hearing from employees Todd Emmonds on the company’s use of robotics and automation in production and Peter Shadwell on their rapid prototyping process in their research and development department.

Sometimes you have to take a leap

RT3 members learned that OMG dedicated massive resources into becoming one of the most innovative manufacturers of roofing products in the industry. They decided to “take a leap of faith” and buy a robotic arm they could study and develop even though they didn’t have any previous experience with robotics.

The company was searching for a way to eliminate the repetitive motion that an employee was subject to by removing six pounds of fasteners from the production line every few seconds and placing them in the packaging. They put massive effort and resources into coding, programming and developing the robotic arm.

After rigorous testing, the robotics were introduced on the production line, creating increased productivity while simultaneously making a safer and healthier environment for their employees.  OMG’s use of automation and robotics created new career opportunities for women and older workers in roles that used to be filled by men, due to the physical nature involved.

3D printing for prototypes

OMG has an innovative and dedicated research and development department that encourages “wild ideas” from all employees. The company uses industry-leading innovation and techniques to develop new products for the industry in-house. Using computer programs like CAD, paired with 3D printers and CNC machines, they can develop and test new products much faster and with less capital investment than ever before.

After prototypes are 3D printed, they are subject to rigorous testing in OMG’s in-house testing lab which simulates all kinds of conditions and stresses that the products could potentially be subject to in the field.

Headquartered in Agawam, Mass., OMG Roofing Products is a leading manufacturer of commercial roofing products including specialty fasteners, insulation adhesives, drains, pipe supports, edge metal systems and innovative productivity tools. The company’s focus is delivering products and services that improve contractor productivity and enhance roof system performance. For additional information please visit OMGRoofing.com.

Learn more about membership in RT3 at www.rt3thinktank.com.

David Huval leads the marketing efforts for RoofConnect.

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