Robots in Machine Shops

Oct 20, 2013

Machine shops that begin with some sort of machine tending job can benefit greatly by adding an automated system on their production line. A robot can accomplish all of the heavy lifting, helping workers avoid any back breaking work or strain. There are a variety of machine tending robots that could be the perfect fit for machine shops.


Does it sound ter­ri­ble to pull a dou­ble shift on the job? How about a triple shift? Robots can per­form many tasks that are typ­i­cal­ly done by humans, and they nev­er get tired or have to take a break. Bet­ter yet, once they are pro­grammed, they rarely make a mis­take. The type of robot that is usu­al­ly used for shop floor appli­ca­tions is an artic­u­lat­ed robot, which has joint­ed arms.

It is com­mon for a machine shop to begin with machine tend­ing (load­ing and unload­ing parts). A robot can han­dle heavy parts to pre­vent work­ers from injur­ing them­selves. After parts han­dling has been auto­mat­ed, the user can add auto­mat­ic inspec­tion processes. 

The Fanuc LR Mate would be a smart choice for a machine shop’s first robot. It is equiv­a­lent to a human arm in size, and it han­dles a pay­load of 5 kg. It is light­weight and portable and can be mount­ed on a stand.

Mate­r­i­al han­dling and robot machine tend­ing appli­ca­tions are made easy when fam­i­lies of sim­i­lar parts are used. This way, the end-of-arm tool can sim­ply be changed for each part number.

Pro­gram­ming the robot cor­rect­ly is cru­cial. After teach­ing the robot where the first part is, it can fig­ure out the rest from the grid lay­out entered. A robot’s grip­per can auto­mat­i­cal­ly cen­ter the part when it is grasped. It can then be rede­ployed for anoth­er appli­ca­tion in the machine shop if necessary.

Safe­ty in the machine shop is para­mount. Since robots aren’t self-aware, they don’t know if they are col­lid­ing with or dam­ag­ing some­thing in their paths. Work­ers should be pro­tect­ed from robots by guards, fences, and gates.

The invest­ment in a robot is con­sid­er­able, but usu­al­ly pays for itself in two years or less. The effi­cien­cy a robot pro­vides is astro­nom­i­cal, and through­put increas­es sig­nif­i­cant­ly with a robot on the job.

Robots​.com works with all kinds of machine shops to incor­po­rate the right robot into their facil­i­ties. If you would like more infor­ma­tion on how to inte­grate a robot into your machine shop, con­tact us by call­ing 8777626881 or con­tact us online.

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