How Robots Revolutionised Watchmaking

The use of robotics within watchmaking is not new; Seiko Epson has been using robots on its production lines since the early 1980s, however, there has been a recent surge in furthering the use of robotics in this field.

The likes of Percipio’s Chronogrip robot, designed to facilitate micromanipulation, can manoeuvre and assemble mechanical parts ranging from a few millimetres to a few thousandths of millimetres in size.

Currently the Chronogrip robot cannot work autonomously, instead of needing a human to operate it. David Heriban, Percipio CEO, tells “The idea behind Chronogrip is to be extremely precise, to help the person concerned to assemble the components.”

The Chronogrip, and other watchmaking robots are enabling manufacturers to produce quality timepieces in smaller timeframes than before.

Pierre-André Bühler, of the Swatch management board, says:
“Before, we worked with 55 different machines. Now, with our five high-tech production lines, we can manage with a minimum number of employees, whose job it is to assist the robots, take charge of production and develop software, so we can reduce production times enormously.”

Watch this video from Epson to see how watchmaking robotics have evolved since 1942.



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