The Machine Tool Goes Digital

As digital and virtual simulation optimize its mechanical, control and networking capabilities, the machine tool of the future will be redefined as a functional node in the broader network of the Internet of Things.
Automation/Robotics: Articles

New Dimensions in Flexible Manufacturing Systems

New Dimensions has grown into a world-class organization, but they still remain very much a family business. Four of the owner’s sons work alongside other family members and employees: (l-r) Mike Halwix, process engineer; Martin Halwix, director of business development; Brian Halwix, director of team development; and John Halwix, process engineer.
In today’s demanding environment, this shop proves how automation has never had so much potential to transform a business.

Complete Digital Factory Integration and the Industrial Internet of Things

The Mazak iSMART Factory uses advanced manufacturing cells and robotic automation systems together with full digital integration to achieve free-flow data sharing in terms of process control and operation monitoring. In the iSMART Factory, the MTConnect open communications protocol works with process support software to provide connectivity and the capability to monitor and harvest data from all the different production floor machines, cells, devices and processes.
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.

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.


Automation/Robotics: Industry News

FANUC America Named Top Workplace in Michigan

They are recognized for employee satisfaction for the fifth consecutive year.

Fastems Names KUKA Robots a Premium Supplier

A KUKA robot in a Fastems flexible manufacturing system. Fastems provides robot based automation solutions for customers in machinery construction, aviation and aerospace as well as metal working companies and their suppliers.
This helps Fastems provide robot-based automation for applications in machinery construction, aerospace, and general metalworking.

Universal Robots Names New President

Jürgen von Hollen, Universal Robots “The opportunity to lead and expand a high-powered organization like this, with such a long term, high growth outlook, is very rare, and I look forward to working with our worldwide distributors, partners, and customers in the days ahead to realize the full potential of collaborative robots.”
Jürgen von Hollen takes over leadership of the company.


Automation/Robotics: Products

Automation Systems

Booths S-9178 (S-8500): The expandable FMS ONE Flexible Manufacturing System from Fastems is a modular and flexible system handles logistics and material management and is suitable for several common machine tool types, with a wide range of MMS5 options to match shop needs.
The expandable FMS ONE Flexible Manufacturing System, FPC-1500 Flexible Pallet Container system and Multi-Level FMS System from Fastems help shops integrate cells with other plant-wide systems to evolve into a fully digital Industry 4.0 factory.

IMTS 2016: Metal Cutting

Booth S-8536: Ideal for machining massive loads, Johnford DMC Series double-column moving table bridge mills from Absolute Machine Tools are created from a one-piece Meehanite cast iron bridge/column assembly that takes up 30 percent less floor space than comparable C-frame vertical machining centers.
Come explore the very foundation of the machine tool industry. This pavilion is where you'll find the latest innovations in metal cutting equipment, machining centers, turning centers, drilling, boring, milling, and more.

An Artillery of Software Automation Tools

Booth E-3240: Version 11 of Predator Software includes new solutions for machine monitoring, DNC communication, CNC program editing, document control, and tool management that will available soon. DataXchange Machine Monitoring from Scytec includes new OEE charts, views from their real time dashboard, multiple part time analysis reports, a shop floor layout view in the dashboard, and various equipment status comparison charts that analyze equipment utilization across a span of different days.
Shop Floor Automations will present new software releases for machine monitoring, DNC communication, CNC program editing, document control, and tool management.