METAL INDUSTRY Success story

A solution that’s right on target

Customer benefits
  • Maintain jobs local thanks to robot automation
  • Significant improvement in productivity
  • Online quality assurance with greatly reduced error rate
  • Right level of automation
  • Fast, accurate and reliable robots


Modernizing production to stay competitive

La Boule Obut, the leading manufacturer of petanque balls since1955, designs, develops and manufactures these famous steel balls.

The Boule Obut plant in Saint-Bonnet-le-Château produces no fewer than 10,000 competition or recreational petanque balls a day! One of the latest models is the RCX, specifically designed to improve player performance.

In the 1990s, in response to the saturated French market (90% of its sales volume) and competition from low-cost competitors, this traditional SME turned to innovation—both in terms of product development and production processes.

To maintain its competitive advantage and avoid high maintenance costs, La Boule Obut sought to modernize part of its production line while preserving its traditional character and employee know-how.

So in 2012 the company called on Stäubli Robotics for solutions to automate and carry out its quality control processes in accordance with the standards of excellence and precision that have always been the key to its success.



State-of-the-art production line using a high-performance robot

After redesigning and modernizing the workshop, taking into account the essential role of the company’s employees, Stäubli installed the first TX90 robot in 2012 for OBUT’s recreational product line and a second robot in 2014 for the company’s competition line. These pick-and-place robots equipped with quality control sensors were installed right after the welding stations and immediately reduced turnaround times and improved the q