Each machinist is aware of that machine tending could be a time-consuming and tedious activity. Your CNC machines require nearly fixed supervision which retains you from doing extra beneficial duties.
A robotic machine tending resolution may also help to enhance the productiveness of your CNC machines in an environment friendly and correct means. Robots also can enhance the security of your operation, lowering the necessity for operators to be in shut proximity to the machines.
The issue is that integrating a robotic for machine tending is historically complicated. Until you’re an skilled roboticist, some particular integration challenges can maintain you again and decelerate the deployment course of.
We discover that one explicit problem slows down machine tending deployments greater than the whole lot else. And our workforce at Robotiq has discovered an ingenious resolution to that problem.
What’s robotic CNC machine tending?
Laptop numerical management (CNC) machines are used throughout industries to create the whole lot from engine elements to cellphone instances. So as to function them, machinists have to feed the machine with new workpieces. This could be a time-consuming and uninteresting course of.
Robotic machine tending includes utilizing a robotic arm to load and unload materials from the CNC machine. It can lead to a big enhance in productiveness, as you need not return to the machine after each work cycle. As an alternative, you possibly can queue up an entire batch of workpieces and the robotic will course of all of them with no human intervention.
As robotic know-how has turn into simpler to make use of over the past decade, machine tending has turn into one of many prime duties for collaborative robots.
The most important problem for robotic machine tending
Regardless that machine tending is a well-liked robotic utility, it may also be fairly complicated to deploy.
One of many greatest challenges is communication.
There are numerous completely different CNC machine varieties and producers. Every mannequin has a distinct technique of communication. Historically, your robotic controller wanted use these communication protocols to interface with the machine.
For instance, a typical communication protocol used with CNC machines is RS-232. Different protocols embody Ethernet, USB, and even wi-fi.
The difficultly comes when you have to program your robotic to interface with the machine. You wanted to “get your palms soiled” and arrange the communication protocol in your robotic controller. You needed to learn how your particular CNC machine used that communication protocol and modify your programming accordingly.
This isn’t a really complicated activity if you’re skilled in programming. However it may be restrictive if you’re not a programmer.
An ingenious resolution to the communication problem
At Robotiq, we all the time attempt to make robotic deployment as straightforward as doable for our customers.
Once we developed our Machine Tending Answer we knew that communication protocols had been going to be essentially the most difficult a part of the method.
How might we develop an answer that labored with nearly each CNC machine?
An answer that did not depend on the person figuring out the best way to program communication protocols?
One that folks might use out-of-the-box with out additional assist?
Our workforce got here up with an ingenious resolution to the issue…
They eliminated the necessity for a communication protocol utterly.
The Robotiq Machine Tending Answer interfaces together with your CNC machine in precisely the identical means that your human operators do.
This is how:
To start out and cease the machine, the system makes use of an actuator to press the “Begin” button on the machine’s management panel.
To detect when the CNC machine has completed a cycle, the system makes use of gentle sensors to detect the machine’s standing lights.
To open and shut the door to the machine, the system makes use of an actuator to press the operator’s foot pedal.
These easy however highly effective options can help you add the Machine Tending Answer to nearly any CNC machine with out complicated programming.
3 different challenges when tending a CNC machine
Communication shouldn’t be the one potential problem that may have an effect on your robotic machine tending. Different challenges can have an effect on your deployment, relying on the particular necessities of your utility.
Listed below are 3 extra frequent challenges and how one can overcome them:
1. Journey time between the desk and machine
Each second that your CNC machine shouldn’t be working is misplaced productiveness. Which means you’re dropping productiveness when your robotic strikes to choose up the following workpiece.
A superb resolution to that is to make use of a twin gripper. This enables the robotic to choose up the completed workpiece and place the following one within the machine with one motion of the robotic arm.
2. Robotic programming
Trendy collaborative robots are simpler to program than any industrial robotic previously. Nevertheless, the requirement for programming could be troublesome for machinists who typically have no expertise with robots.
Robotic utility kits are a great way to beat this problem. They embody the whole lot you have to program the robotic utilizing easy configuration wizards.
3. Tough grasp factors
Some workpieces are troublesome to choose up with a robotic as there are not any apparent grasp factors for the gripper. This may make it laborious for the robotic to maintain a maintain on an element and transfer it into the CNC machine.
Vacuum grippers resolve this downside. They’ll choose elements up from all instructions and are straightforward to combine into the robotic.
How one can profit from this resolution
With robotic machine tending, you possibly can assist to cut back the tedious nature of CNC machining, serving to you to realize extra productiveness together with your machining operations.
If you’re searching for a machine tending resolution that works with nearly any CNC machine, with out requiring complicated communication programming, the Robotiq Machine Tending Answer might be the only, most accessible resolution available on the market.
What challenges have held you again so removed from attempting robotic machine tending? Inform us within the feedback under or be part of the dialogue on LinkedIn, Twitter, Fb, or the DoF skilled robotics group.