6/17/2016 | 1 MINUTE READ

Robots, Robots, Robots

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

Lately, I’ve noticed an increasing number of shops researching ways to implement various types of automation to improve their productivity through unattended operation.

Share

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

Automation has been an important part of the manufacturing environment for quite some time, but it seems to occasionally catch a wave and become even more of a hot topic. Lately, I’ve noticed an increasing number of shops researching ways to implement various types of automation to improve their productivity through unattended operation, often in a move toward making parts 24/7 including lights-out shifts on nights and weekends.

Coincidentally or not, Production Machining has run four feature articles about robotics since March of this year. The first of these covered a traditional Ohio-based screw machine shop that worked with a system integrator and used its in-house expertise to create a sophisticated production cell to go along with its other automation forays. The machining cell replaced six vertical machining centers and processes 17 different parts with a spindle uptime of 85 percent. The previous machines had uptimes of only 40 percent. The robot is fed parts by a conveyor designed and built in-house. Check out “Moving Automation In” for more information.

Specifically addressing our Robotics emphasis in June, “Developing a Company Plan for Robotics” discusses ways shops can re-evaluate the impact this technology can have on productivity. The article compares different types of robotic systems relative to their necessary sub-systems, effects on operations, production rates, portability and safety.

Also from June, “Automated Grinding Cell Adds Capacity” is about a Pennsylvania-based shop that is adding operations to continue to compete in the difficult, high-volume market. While the article focuses more on the shop’s decision to augment traditional production techniques with effective grinding operations, the contributions of the robot in the grinding cell are significant—output has improved by 35 percent, and scrap rate has fallen from 15 percent to less than 1.

Our July issue, which is hitting the streets right now, features a story about a company that realized a need for robotic automation within its shop and developed a solution that became the root of a new business venture. “Flexible Automation on a VMC” looks at how the company uses robot loading and unloading of the actual workholding that is used in the machining center to facilitate the ability to change jobs during an unattended run.

Hand holding a crystal ball

We’d rather send you $15 than rely on our crystal ball…

It’s Capital Spending Survey season and the manufacturing industry is counting on you to participate! Odds are that you received our 5-minute Metalworking survey from Production Machining in your mail or email. Fill it out and we’ll email you $15 to exchange for your choice of gift card or charitable donation. Are you in the U.S. and not sure you received the survey? Contact us to access it.

Help us inform the industry and everybody benefits.

RELATED CONTENT

  • Handling Parts In A Robotic Cell

    Here’s a review of the workholding and workhandling challenges a shop faces as it moves a part through a robotic cell, from serving up the blanks to the transfer of the final workpiece to post processing and gaging. Productivity, Inc. takes the reader through a few of their cells that they've installed using Fanuc robots and a variety of other machine tool equipment.  

  • Bar Feed Considerations For High-Speed, Lights-Out Machining

    There are design elements incorporated into today’s 12-foot, magazine-load bar feeders that make them more useful for high-speed and untended operation. This article looks at some aspects to consider before purchasing a 12-foot bar feeder.

  • Bar Feeder Basics

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

Resources