Complete Digital Factory Integration and the Industrial Internet of Things

A collaboration among Mazak, Memex and Cisco, utilizing the MTConnect standard, makes groundbreaking progress toward the total digital integration of factories, where access to real-time manufacturing data is used to improve overall productivity efficiency and responsiveness to customer and market changes.
Automation/Robotics: Articles

All Over the Mapp

Using the same control system to manage both the axes of the machine tools and those of the robots in perfectly integrated synchrony makes both machines more responsive and significantly increases the performance of an automated plant.
The next step in the Internet of Things is here. These robots and the machine tools they tend can use a single controller for automated interaction instead of separate units operated by different kinds of software that must communicate through a fieldbus. Now the same control system can manage both the machines and the robots of an automated plant.

Machine Tool 2.0: Milling with Robots

Machining medical components with robots instead of CNC machine tools is gaining importance because the robot has become highly flexible and can be universally adjusted to different tasks with minimal, often acceptable limitations to precision. Above all, this sort of automation results in very cost-effective machining for medical component applications.
A robot can now replace a machine tool in certain applications, bringing a high level of flexibility to use different tools in the 3D space that changes the way processes and component design are viewed.

Now is the Time to Automate Your Die/Mold Systems

By decoupling setup processes from machining processes, automation maximizes machine utilization from an average of 30 percent to 35 percent on standalone machines to as much as 85 percent within an automated cell. This flexibility is ideal for mold, tool and die shops that need to shift rapidly within a high product-mix environment. The ability to perform lights-out processing also opens up additional machining time to produce more parts during off-hours, particularly those with long cycle times.
Increasing demands for shorter lead times, improved quality and lower costs mean shop managers should seriously consider automation as an investment in long-term dynamic growth and flexibility.

What Lies Ahead in Real Time

The MERLIN system from Memex Automation is a manufacturing execution system (MES) that monitors a Mazak Slant Turn Nexus 600 big-bore turning center. The display screen at left shows real time data such as OEE, availability, performance and quality. (Photo courtesy of Mazak Corporation)
The Holy Grail in manufacturing automation lies in machine tool monitoring and the growing impact of network communications on equipment effectiveness for manufacturers.

Internet 4.0 Innovations for Machine Tools

Using an integrated Beckhoff control computer, the 701S micromachining center from Willemin-Macodel delivers path accuracy better than 0.2 μm, low sensitivity to temperature fluctuations and very high precision and repeatability at a maximum speed of 80,000 rpm – without tool holders, which increases static and dynamic rigidity and results in very high balancing quality and a low radial runout (less than 1 μm at the tool tip).
Take a look at how PC-based control technology is turning visionary Industry 4.0 concepts into profitable "smart factories" through the use of Google Glass in automation, all-in-one robot and machine tool control, and standard OPC UA connectivity.


Automation/Robotics: Industry News

FANUC America Appoints New President and CEO

Mike Cicco, FANUC America “I am excited and honored to take on this role, and I look forward to working with Rick and our talented senior leadership team to achieve our future growth objectives.”
Mike Cicco is responsible for all of the company’s operations in North and South America.

ITAMCO Receives Award for Smart Manufacturing Project

The project is connecting and configuring diverse machine tools, PLCs, sensors and devices to build a totally integrated shop floor.

Grading Turning and Milling Contest Skills

VERICUT software will be used to evaluate the accuracy of each NC program created for the machining contests. The software’s machine simulation detects collisions and near-misses between all machine tool components, such as axis slides, heads, turrets, rotary tables, spindles, tool changers, fixtures, workpieces, cutting tools, and other user-defined objects. Machine movements can also be simulated while stepping or playing backwards in Review Mode.
Engineers from CGTech will use VERICUT software to evaluate the accuracy of the NC programs created by students at multiple SkillsUSA/NIMS events.


Automation/Robotics: Products

Cost Effective Robotic Automation for the Small Shop

Racer3 is intended to increase productivity and reduce overall costs by automating dexterity in assembly, material handling, machine tending, dispensing and pick and place.
The lightweight, powerful, high-speed 6-axis Racer3 articulated robot from Comau features a payload of 3 kg and reach of 630 mm that can be mounted on benches, walls, ceilings or inclined supports.

Machine Enhancement Technology

Booth E-5636: A DTect-IT vibration sensor from Caron Engineering attached near the spindle of a Tsugami B0205 Swiss-type machine to monitor bearing health for analysis. The sensor can monitor machine anomalies on a CNC machine tool or fixture by using vibration, strain and power sensors, combined with several monitoring modes that include limit analysis, bearing analysis, and fault detection. It runs on any Windows PC with an available USB port to immediately graph the sensor data on the PC.
Hardware and software systems from Caron Engineering provide more intelligent machining that is focused on unattended operation, machine process diagnostics, cycle time reduction, and eliminating operator error.

Large Capacity 6-Axis Robots for Machine Tending

RV-35F, RV-50F, and RV-70F robots handle and robotically automate heavier parts and tooling. Their long reach arm can extend up to 2,050 mm to spread tasks farther apart and accommodate larger parts and processes.
RV-35F, RV-50F, and RV-70F robots from Mitsubishi handle higher payloads requiring longer reaches in CNC machine tending, large material handling jobs and assembly work.