All Over the Mapp

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.
Automation/Robotics: Articles

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.

Intelligent Factories: The Fourth Industrial Revolution

The biggest challenge for intelligent metalworking shops is implementing the correct individualized manufacturing systems on the software side that can fit their unique needs and provide competitive advantages.
A new era of highly efficient, flexible and customizable mass production requires software and analytical systems that turn the deluge of data produced by intelligent factories into useful and valuable information.


Automation/Robotics: Industry News

Robotics Education Strategy for the Economy

Partnerships are developing dedicated curricula and tools to deliver real-world industrial experiences in a classroom environment.

Acieta Names New President

Blake Consdorf assumes the leadership role for the division.

Matrix Design Opens Additional Facility

The additional production facility at Matrix Design will enable them to concurrently build and power more standard and custom robotic material handling systems, machine tending systems, part/tray exchange, inspection, palletizing, and robotic deburring systems.
The 17,000 sq ft building will more than double their capacity for building robotic systems.


Automation/Robotics: Products

Metal Cutting Showcase

Equipped with a T-Rex spindle that delivers 1,918 ft-lb torque or a five-axis high-torque tilt spindle with continuous torque of 856 ft-lb, the Giddings & Lewis HMC 1600 from Fives couples a potent 9,500 lb cutting thrust with excellent stiffness and vibration damping to produce extreme metal removal rates on large parts of hard-to-machine titanium, Inconel, and Carpenter 465 for aerospace, energy and heavy equipment manufacturers. 
Here are some of the latest machine tools to help your shop become more competitive.

Reinventing Industrial Robotics

A 6-axis UR5 collaborative robot arm from Universal Robots handles machine tending on a CNC lathe. It can be moved around the production area easily as a plug-and-play system with a simple user interface that lets shop employees with no previous programing experience quickly set up and operate it. 
Lightweight, 6-axis UR5 and UR10 collaborative industrial robot arms from Universal Robots are for shops that thought robots were too expensive, cumbersome, and hard to program and integrate into existing production.

Humanoid Robots for Machine-Machine Cooperation

The arms of AMICO feature two SCHUNK SDH2 grippers, a multi-articulated gripping system with 3 fingers and the ability to grab a wide range of objects, which makes it perfect for robotic industrial applications. Two of the SCHUNK gripper fingers can, in fact, change their orientation to adapt to a wide variety of applications. The gripper is also able to recognize each surface and release the necessary strength through a specific sensor. In addition to extreme precision, this allows the robot to immediately understand whether the gripping is optimal or should be adjusted.
The AMICO robot from Comau is the next step toward an increasingly precise and effective future of machine-machine cooperation and, progressively, man-machine cooperation.