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

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.

Yaskawa Motoman Demonstrates Career Opportunities to Students

Attendees of the Yaskawa Motoman event saw live robotics demonstrations.
In recognition of National Robotics Week, students toured their facility to learn about industrial robotics and many related career path opportunities.

Robotics Education Strategy for the Economy

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


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.