11/12/2008 | 1 MINUTE READ

Lights-Out Benefits

Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon

Here are some pointers for working towards successful untended operations.

Share

Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon

Untended machining can lead a shop down a short road to higher production, which of course should equate to higher profits and faster return on investment for its machines. Greater product demand in both domestic and international markets (and competition to land these jobs) is prompting an increase in automation and lights-out operations. Companies are working hard to find ways to get the most from their machines.

But untended machining is not as simple as just starting a job and walking away. Much preparation and planning must go into the process first. You need to consider the type of material being run and that there is an adequate supply of consistently sized stock loaded in the bar feeder. Accurate forecasting of tool wear and proper tool monitoring should be in place to ensure quality parts. And accessories such as chip conveyors, mist collectors, coolant delivery and fire suppressant systems should be in top condition.

To see how one shop runs the majority of its work without supervision, read “The New American Night Shift.” Another shop has managed to cut production costs by 40 percent during untended operations (read “U.K. Shop Is Turned On To Lights-Out Machining”). To see the difference machine tool accessories can bring to lights-out, read “Successful Untended Operation.

RELATED CONTENT

  • Simplifying Machine Load/Unload Automation

    Today, lower part volumes and frequent change-over are changing the offerings of some automation integrators. Standard, off-the-shelf components are being engineered to work together in a large variety of applications and, in some cases, are even portable so they can be moved from machine tool to machine tool.

  • Robots as Precision Machine Tools

    To remain competitive, high-end manufacturing companies are looking for accurate, reliable and maintenance-free machine tools offering fast change-over, programming and setup. Industrial robot technology could provide an excellent base for machining because it is flexible and affordable.

  • Bar Feeder Basics

    Some primary factors are often overlooked when considering how to justify the implementation of a bar feeder for turning operations.

Resources