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Sigma Research and Development Institute expands production of protective filters

Automation achieved in less than two weeks

Sigma Research and Development Institute expands production of protective filters Source: CzechInvest
  • Acam Solution and other partners assisted Sigma with production automation
  • thanks to this, Sigma will increase production by two-thirds
  • CzechInvest is aiding the two companies’ cooperation

Some have supplies, others have demand. In an emergency such as the coronavirus pandemic, there is undoubtedly asymmetry in the supply and demand of individual businesses. Some companies offer materials, equipment and know-how needed by other businesses free of charge. The same is true in the case of the cooperation between the Sigma Research and Development Institute in Lutín, Acam Solution, which is focused on automation of production, and other partners.

“Thanks to this step, Sigma will increase its production by two-thirds and, despite the extensive quarantine, will commence three-shift operation in order to satisfy demand from clients, which is naturally rising. “At present, we are recording orders in the thousands; deliveries are being carried out in roughly 14 days. If we hadn’t begun optimising and automating parts of the production process, we would be completely unable to fill those orders,” explains Václav Slovák of the Sigma Research and Development Institute’s sales department, adding: “We will start the newly automated line in the course of next week.”

“We comprehend the gravity of the situation and we simply want to help. We are implementing the entire project in the form of component lending, free provision of specialised capacities and production of parts only for the incurred costs in which Sigma is sharing,” says Pavel Bortlík, executive director of Acam Solution. According to Bortlík, the project includes the rapid design of a very sophisticated solution and, of course, also the delivery and installation of automation technology including industrial robots, camera guidance, laser marking, exhaust, clamping and control technology, pneumatic elements, functional safety, load-bearing structures and production of components. All of this was achieved in eleven days.

Cooperation between the companies was mediated by CzechInvest CEO Patrik Reichl, who had previously put Sigma in contact with the research team at the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics at the Czech Technical University in Prague. For similar purposes and in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Health and the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic, CzechInvest established the Czech Network platform where, in the CoVPoint section, companies can offer assistance to the state and to each other. “We launched a service for which demand had logically arisen at this time. It was originally intended to be a platform where companies could offer the state and other companies necessary goods and capacities, especially protective equipment. Within a week, however, Czech Network expanded with the addition of other interesting projects. Besides personal protective equipment, companies are currently also offering logistics, IT services and industrial production,” says Patrik Reichl, CEO of CzechInvest.

At present, Sigma has a signed contract on delivery of forty thousand FFP3 filters with the Ministry of Health. An agreement is also in place with a research team at the Czech Technical University that is using the filters in a new respirator intended to protect first-line healthcare workers. The company is also delivering directly to hospitals, whose orders are given priority status along with those of the Ministry of Health.

Protective filters from Sigma fulfil the requirements of the highest FFP3 level of safety. The production of each filter involves an output inspection that includes specification of the weight, pressure drop and paraffin-oil penetration coefficient in order to ensure minimum deviations in production and excellent output parameters. The company also owns a chemistry laboratory where input materials, primarily activated carbon, can be tested in order to fulfil customers’ requirements.

Acam is collaborating on the automation of the production line with Fanuc Czech, Keyence, Festo, Schunk, Rockwell Automation, Control Tech, Wemac, Aluteckk, Haberkorn, Hiwin, Ammeraal Beltech, KovoZach and Sedlaková Legal, as well as with a number of individuals, such as Šimon Schoula, Jan Šimurda, Lukáš Honca, Šimon Oravec, Tomáš Majer, Roman Halata, Jiří Bažata, Petr Brodecký, Václav Slovák, Lukáš Zavadil and Jan Budai.

About CzechInvest 

CzechInvest plays a key role in the area of comprehensive support for business and investments. The agency’s unique combination of regional, central and international operations ensures the integrity of its services and its ability to connect global trends with the regional conditions in the Czech Republic. One of CzechInvest’s primary objectives is the transformation of the Czech Republic into an innovation leader of Europe. CzechInvest is a state contributory organisation subordinate to the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic. The agency was established in 1992.
 

Sigma Research and Development Institute

The Sigma Research and Development Institute is a leading specialised research, development and production institute in the Czech Republic with a history of development of pumps and other water-management equipment dating back more than 150 years. The institute also manufactures protective filters that fulfil the requirements of the highest FFP3 level of safety. Such filters keep, for example, physicians and employees of the integrated rescue system safe for up to twelve hours. Sigma supplies filters to, among others, the Ministry of Health, fire departments and the police, and is the exclusive supplier for the Army of the Czech Republic.
 

ACAM Solution

ACAM Solution is a leading Czech supplier in the area of integration of robots and development of technological equipment and software in the field of industrial automation. The company has been in operation since 2014. Its clients include not only major companies such as Volkswagen, Toyota, Olympus, Škoda Auto and Bosch, but also small and medium-sized enterprises.

 

Contact to CzechInvest:
Jana Kohoutová
Spokesperson
+420 720 965 969
jana.kohoutova@zechinvest.org