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All Things Automation Simplify Functions and Tasks

Innovations in automation and robotics products and solutions ensure your shop’s processes run smoothly.

Posted: February 2, 2022

ABB OmniCore E10
The OmniCore V250XT controller offers a versatile and powerful solution for use in a variety of industrial applications.
ATI QC-29 Robotic Tool Changer The QC-29 is the first standard ATI Tool Changer designed with a rectangular body that mounts directly to 40mm and 50mm robot wrists.
The new QSSR G-code feature allows operators and machine tool builders to program robots easily through the FANUC CNC in ISO standard G-code format.
The Work Partner 1 + maximizes magazine capacity for loading and unloading both parts and electrodes while conserving valuable floor space.
KUKA.Sim 4.0 facilitates accurate planning, safety configuration and more through digital twins of the automation processes
Mazak displayed its new series of CNC turning machines, the QT-Ez Series, at its DISCOVER 2021. The machines can be equipped with the standalone cobot loading system called the Mazak Cobot Cell Series.

Whether it is controllers, tool changers, flexible modular automation systems, updates to modular digital simulation software or affordable CNCs with versatile, high-value add-on solutions, the accomplishments of suppliers position your shop for the future.

New Robot Controllers Offer Faster, Scalable, More Energy Efficient Manufacturing

ABB Robotics (Auburn Hills, MI) has expanded its OmniCore robot controller family with two new controllers: the E10 and the V250XT, which provide an even wider range of manufacturing applications. The faster performance and enhanced flexibility enable improved productivity and the ability to respond to changing market demands. The controllers deliver scalability through inclusion of more than 1,000 software and hardware functions, encompassing areas such as programming, offline commissioning and simulation, maintenance, vision and safety.

The controllers also feature built-in connectivity to ABB Ability™ Connected Services cloud-based service suite for robots, offering new opportunities for enhanced predictive maintenance and lifecycle management. ABB also introduces its IoT Gateway open automation software for OmniCore, which makes it possible to achieve truly joined-up production by enabling the seamless transmission of data from the factory floor, machine to machine, robots to other machines and robots to sensors, to the MES/ERP system or to the cloud.

The inclusion of ABB’s TrueMove and QuickMove motion control technology in both controllers offers class-leading cycle times, high speed, position repeatability and path accuracy. These robots are up to 25 percent faster than their predecessors.

Available for a range of robots across ABB’s portfolio, the E10 and V250XT controllers offer best-in-class motion control. The controllers extend the possibilities for enhanced robot control in a variety of industries such as electronics assembly, and automotive, logistics and general manufacturing.

With a 19-inch rack-mount design, the E10 is ideal for confined space and high-density production lines where space saving is a key requirement, such as small parts assembly and material handling in the electronics industry. The E10 controller is designed to power ABB’s SCARA robots and articulated robots with payloads of up to 11kg such as the IRB 920T and IRB 1300.

Designed to power articulated robots with a payload of up to 300kg such as IRB 6700, the OmniCore V250XT controller offers a versatile and powerful solution for use in electric vehicle production, automotive manufacturing, logistics and general industrial applications.

Both controllers are used with ABB’s FlexPendant hand-held controller. The large 8” multi-touch display supports standard gestures, such as pinch, swipe, and tap, simplifying robot programming. FlexPendant is “hot swappable,” which means it can be unplugged or re-connected without interrupting ongoing production. It can be shared between multiple robots, accelerating robot deployment and minimizing costs.

New Robotic Tool Changer Unlocks Productivity for Smaller Robots

ATI Industrial Automation (Apex, N.C.) now offers a standard tool changing option for smaller robots. The QC-29 Robotic Tool Changer brings the powerful and rugged technology of ATI’s Heavy Duty Tool Changers to robots in the 25-to-35kg payload class. The QC-29 is the first standard ATI Tool Changer designed with a rectangular body that mounts directly to 40mm and 50mm robot wrists.

The QC-29 also includes in-body lock/unlock sensing and a new locking mechanism. Built-in air ports and three module mounting flats make connecting utilities easy; and the Zero-Freeplay design ensures maximum repeatability for high-efficiency tool changing.

The QC-29 is compatible with ATI’s large selection of Standard Utility Modules and Tool Stands, which enables a vast array of unique configurations ranging from ultrasonic welding to servo motor support and more.

New Feature Enables CNCs to Directly Program Robots Through the G-Code     

FANUC America (Hoffman Estates, IL), a leading factory automation solutions provider, introduces the next step in complete robotics and CNCs integration for more efficient operations. FANUC CNCs now have the ability to control connected FANUC robots providing machine tending or other assistance through FANUC’s Quick and Simple Startup of Robotization (QSSR). More manufacturing operations are taking advantage of the addition of more robotics to execute repetitive tasks previously manually performed. Advanced automation offers a competitive edge and greater profit margins to shops of all sizes.

The QSSR is a complete package that simplifies the connection of a FANUC robot to a FANUC controlled machine tool. The new QSSR G-code feature allows operators and machine tool builders to program robots easily through the FANUC CNC in ISO standard G-code format. Those unfamiliar with robotic programming language will no longer require additional training or specialists because the programming can be performed with G-codes. A reliance on a separate teach pendant for the robot is also greatly reduced with the capability of robotic programming and operation through the CNC user interface.

The QSSR not only makes connecting a FANUC robot through a high-speed Ethernet cable to a machine tool easy, but also simplifies the setup, programming and operation. The QSSR G-code feature is available on FANUC CNC Series Oi-F, Oi-F Plus, 30i-B and 30i-B Plus.

Highly Flexible Modular Automation Systems for Machining Applications

GF Machining Solutions LLC’s (Lincolnshire, IL) System 3R WorkPartner 1+ (WPT 1+) modular automation systems for milling, EDM, wire cutting EDM and laser micro machining applications maximize magazine capacity for loading and unloading both parts and electrodes, while also conserving valuable shop floor space. GF Machining Solutions offers eight WPT 1+ models. Shops can start with a single magazine unit and then add one more as production needs change. The systems easily serve one or two machines within a production cell thanks to the flexibility of the magazine capacities and its variants (light, heavy or a rotary magazine), along with fully integrated pneumatic control for gripping devices and table chucks. Large doors allow for fast and easy loading and unloading to help shorten changeover cycle times for both low and high-volume applications. For user-friendly WPT 1+ cell management, GF Machining Solutions offers its WorkShopManager (WSM) software. Users can quickly enter necessary cell data in a structured manner and gain a quick, precise overview of their entire process chain with WPT 1+. They can also change the order of job priorities at any time for increased workflow flexibility. WSM lowers the risk of human errors and makes for more stable production processes.

Digitally Simulate and Validate Robot Applications With KUKA.Sim 4.0

KUKA Robotics (Sterling Heights, MI) has launched KUKA.Sim 4.0, a major enhancement of its modular digital simulation software package. This latest version facilitates accurate planning, programming, safety configuration and more through digital twins of the automation processes.

The KUKA.Sim software enables manufacturers to test and validate robotic installations before equipment arrives, minimize the footprint of cells with 3D visualization of safety spaces, then transfer applications with 100 percent accuracy to an actual robot controller. In addition, KUKA.Sim 4.0 can program robots offline, analyze cycle times and expand with new functionalities through add-on modules. KUKA.Sim 4.0 checks reachability and detects collisions in virtual space to ensure foolproof implementation of programs and cells, minimizing the time and costs of planning tasks as well as actual production downtime. Through a digital twin that matches the physical process, 3D simulation covers the full planning process from design and verification through PLC code, eliminating bottlenecks with full consistency for advance testing and optimization. In industries from consumer goods to electronics and automotive, KUKA.Sim 4.0 makes automation planning easy with a new KUKA Robot Language (KRL) editor that includes expert and beginner onscreen views with a visual program tree. Drag-and-drop configuration of an extensive library of smart components enables quick investigation of design ideas with accurate calculation of cycle times. Export options include 3D PDF files, detailed 2D mechanical commissioning data and presentation/simulation results for use on virtual-reality hardware or the Mobile Viewer app for smartphones and tablets. Modular add-ons expand the flexibility and power of KUKA.Sim 4.0. For example, the Modeling add-on enables users to build a customized library based on the CAD data from the kinematic systems, sensors, material flow and physical behavior of their own robotic installations.

Affordable QT-Ez Series in the Spotlight at DISCOVER 2021

Mazak Corp. (Florence, KY) displayed its new series of Kentucky-designed and built CNC turning machines, the QT-Ez Series, at its DISCOVER 2021 event. Designed to give job shops affordable access to Mazak technology and engineering expertise, the series offers a wide range of turning centers, including those with Multi-Tasking and DONE IN ONE® functionality.

With the addition of the new MAZATROL SmoothEz control and automation systems such as Mazak’s new Cobot Cell (CC) Series, these high-value, versatile solutions ensure ease of operation along with high productivity.

Models within the new turning machine series include the QT-Ez 8, QT-Ez 10 and QT-Ez 12, which are offered in 2-axis, M, MY and MSY versions. M versions include milling capability, MY machines feature milling and Y-axis off-centerline capability, and MSY machines are a combination of both milling and Y axis capability paired with second turning spindles for complete DONE IN ONE® part processing. For further increased productivity and unmanned operations, the machines seamlessly integrate with bar feeders and robots. Each QT-Ez model number indicates the standard chuck size, but Mazak also offers a smaller size optional chuck for each machine to provide greater maximum rpm capability. These include a 6” chuck option for the QT-Ez 8, an 8” for the QT-Ez 10, and 10” for the QT-Ez 12. Each model is available in a 20” bed length and an optional 40” bed length for the QT-Ez 12 model.

To further aid shops in maximizing productivity, the series has been designed for a range of automation solutions from simple bar feeders and parts catchers to full cooperative robot installations such as Mazak Automation Systems’ Cobot Cell System models, the CC-10 and CC-16. The CC-10 system uses a newly released FANUC CRX- 10iA/L and 10 kg payload capacity, while the CC-16 is built around a proven Universal Robots UR16e platform and a 16-kg payload capacity.

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