Feed the machine: machine tending robots


machine tending robots

Why should a company consider automating a machine tool?  First, robots increase machine production by up to 20%. A robot can also perform secondary operations and eliminate fixtures. Robots eliminate operator safety issues, and increase the quality of the product. 

Using a robot for machine tending is one of the most common applications of robots. Machine tending robots feed parts in and out of the machine, as well as supervise the machine while it performs the job. Not only do workers avoid hazardous conditions, but robots are well-suited for machine tending.

Machine tending robots offer higher spindle utilization, the possibility for automatic deburring, gaging, or assembly. The machines they can work with include rotary and linear transfer machines, machining centers, tapping centers, grinding machines, honing machines, boring machines, cutting machines, and super finish machines.

FANUC offers a full range of machining robots for a complete machine tool solution. These industrial machining robots provide increased flexibility from fixed automation, minimized errors, maximized output with high speed and performance, and increased system up-time. Some of the more popular FANUC machine tending robots include: R-2000iA/125LLR Mate 200iC/5LM-420iA, and even a collaborative version - the CR-35iA.

FANUC developed the V-500iA PC-based vision system to make robotic automation of low-volume manufacturing practical. Shops of all sizes should be able to enjoy the benefits of robotic machine tending. The V-500iA technology is capable of distinguishing between pieces of material, allowing for a more versatile system. 

Robots like the FANUC M-16iB can be equipped with V-500iA/3DL laser vision sensor and FS-30 Force Sensor identified and located a robot cluster gear assembly from a tray, picked it up, and assembled parts for the gear assembly.  

Motoman also has a wide variety of machine tending robots to include dual-armed, shelf mounted or gantry-styled robots.  Product quality is improved in processes like boring, milling, and grinding. Some of more popular Motoman machine tending robot models include the EH80, HP50-20HP20D, and the SIA20D.

ABB and KUKA also have a wide range of machine tending robots to assist a large variety of machines, from presses and shears to injection molding machines. 

Universal Robots are also being used for machine tending applications. Their ability to work in the same area as a worker saves floorspace and improves worker productivity. Sometimes, machining processes do require human involvement, but collaborative robots give the ability to assist that worker with a heavy load or to ensure accuracy every time a part is placed into or pulled out of a machine.

RobotWorx carries a large variety of machine tending robots. For help choosing the right one for your facility, contact us today by calling 740-251-4312 or fill out our contact form to get more information and a quick price quote. 

Get our newsletter | Stay on top of the latest news