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Home / Wide Range of Robotic and Automated Systems Enhance Metal Cutting Enterprises

Wide Range of Robotic and Automated Systems Enhance Metal Cutting Enterprises

Machinists are breaking new ground in their performances and processes thanks to the ability to work safely alongside cobots and realize shorter load/unload times.

Posted: August 18, 2023

ABB’s new GoFa variants offer higher payloads, best-in-class reach and repeatability.
The GoFa cobots are Cat 3/PLd safety certified for close collaboration with human workers.
The System 3R WPT 1+ from G.F. Machining Solutions.
KUKA’s KMR CYBERTECH with Waybo machine tending cell.
Mitsubishi Electric Automation’s LoadMate Plus product line.
Automation Explorer will take the term “digital twin” to the next level with photo-realistic imaging of manufacturing environments, advanced robot control software, and world-class automation technology in one unique experience.
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The barriers to installing the latest automated solutions and industrial cobots continue to decrease with today’s versatile, modular, lightweight, and smaller footprint machines. The easy to program — or no programming required — offer cost-effective solutions to your shop’s labor challenges.  

Cobots Set New Benchmark with Heavier Payloads, Longer Reach 
Schunk, Mitsubishi Electric, Kuka, G.F. Machining Solutions, machine tending, automation, robotics, automated mobility, cobots, ABB Robotics
The GoFa cobots are Cat 3/PLd safety certified for close collaboration with human workers.

ABB Robotics & Discrete Automation (Auburn Hills, MI) has launched two new variants of its GoFaTM collaborative robot. The GoFa 10 and GoFa 12 open new possibilities for companies to leverage cobot automation for enhanced efficiency. Handling payloads of up to 10 and 12 kilograms with market-leading repeatability, the cobots accomplish an expanded range of tasks in close collaboration with factory workers, addressing skills and labor shortages while improving safety and productivity. Offering straightforward programming and rapid integration into production environments, the new variants lower barriers to entry for first-time users, educators and SMEs.  

In addition to their enhanced payloads, the GoFa 10 and GoFa 12 cobots offer class-beating tool center point speeds of up to two meters per second with 0.02-millimeter repeatability — a two-fold improvement over comparable solutions. IP67-certified against moisture and dust ingress, they extend the benefits of fast and accurate collaborative robotics to new industrial applications, automating demanding tasks such as machine tending, welding, parts handling, polishing and assembly. The GoFa 10’s 1.62-meter reach — 14% more than others in its class and enough to cover U.S. pallets — makes it ideal for palletizing applications.  

The cobots are straightforward to program, deploy, and use, lowering barriers to automation for first-time users and SMEs. Setup is made easy with lead-through programming and ABB’s Wizard easy programming software, allowing even non-specialists to quickly automate their applications by manipulating simple graphical command blocks rather than writing complex programming code.  

Pre-installed on the cobots’ ABB’s FlexPendant robot controller, the ABB SafeMove robot safety monitoring app’s cutting-edge safety features, including safe speed limits, standstill monitoring, and orientation supervision, enable close collaboration between robots and factory workers without requiring bulky protective barriers or fencing.   

The GoFa 10 and GoFa 12 cobots are powered by ABB’s OmniCore controller. Responding to the growing diversification of automation applications, ABB recently launched its ABB Robotics Ecosystem program. Bringing together third-party accessories such as grippers, cameras, and customized software that are compatible with the ABB portfolio, the program lets users easily leverage innovation from across the company’s ecosystem.  

www.abb.com/robotics  

Flexible Workflow Automation Solution for Machining Applications 
Schunk, Mitsubishi Electric, Kuka, G.F. Machining Solutions, machine tending, automation, robotics, automated mobility, cobots, ABB Robotics
The System 3R WPT 1+ from G.F. Machining Solutions.

The System 3R WorkPartner 1+ (WPT 1+) modular automation system from G.F. Machining Solutions (Lincolnshire, IL) can more than double annual production capacity while conserving valuable shop floor space and maximizing magazine capacity to load and unload parts and electrodes. 

In EDM applications, the WPT 1+ puts a load station and a drain station in less than 43 sq. ft. (4m2) of floor space. With the WPT 1+, shops can start with a single magazine unit and add more as production needs change. The various system models easily serve one or two machines within a production cell, with flexible magazine capacities and variants (light, heavy or rotary magazines), along with fully integrated pneumatic control for gripping devices and table chucks. Large doors allow for fast and easy loading and unloading to shorten changeover cycle times for low and high-volume applications. 

For user-friendly WPT 1+ cell management, GF Machining Solutions offers its WorkShopManager (WSM) software. Operators can enter cell data quickly in a structured manner and gain a quick, precise overview of their entire process chain with WPT 1+. Shops also can change job priority orders at any time for increased workflow flexibility. WSM reduces the risk of human error and increases the stability of production processes. 

GF Machining Solutions is the world’s leading provider of machine tools, diverse technical solutions and services to manufacturers of precision molds and tooling and of tight-tolerance, precision-machined components. 

www.gfms.com   

Robotic Platform Provides Modular, Versatile and Mobile Production 
Schunk, Mitsubishi Electric, Kuka, G.F. Machining Solutions, machine tending, automation, robotics, automated mobility, cobots, ABB Robotics
KUKA’s KMR CYBERTECH with Waybo machine tending cell.

In answer to the ongoing lack of skilled labor, KUKA Robotics’ (Shelby Township, MI) KMR CYBERTECH provides automated mobility. At this year’s Automate show, KUKA displayed this mobile robot system, which provided automated mobility to a Waybo machine tending cell. KUKA also featured a Waybo mobile collaborative cart solution that incorporated an LBR iisy cobot. 

As a production solution for today’s manufacturers, the Waybo series of pre-engineered compact machine tending cells are well suited for small- and medium-job shops that want to automate CNC machines for high-mix/low-volume manufacturing applications. 

The KMR CYBERTECH utilizes a KUKA KMP 1500, an omnidirectional, mobile platform that navigates autonomously and flexibly. Combined with the latest KUKA controller, it provides modular, versatile and above all mobile production. This intelligent, autonomous vehicle supplies materials to robots and machines when needed. The KMP 1500 makes flexible production possible and integrates seamlessly into manufacturing operations. 

The KR CYBERTECH family of industrial robots represents the world’s largest range of models in the low payload category with the greatest power density. They are ideally suited to space-saving cell concepts, such as Waybo’s, and provide top performance — with particularly low follow-up costs. 

The compact Waybo cells are easy to install, can be moved from one machine tool to another and are simple to set up for the next batch of products. Because they can run autonomously for many hours — and easily cover the night shift, they have a quick return on investment. The two models currently available — PartNR and CyberDrawers — can load and unload any new or existing CNC lathe or milling machine. But the robot can also perform additional tasks, such as marking, inspection, washing, etc. 

Whether loading/unloading machines, assembling components, packaging or for training, the KUKA LBR iisy used on the Waybo collaborative mobile cart provides increased versatility and can be immediately operated by anyone from an automation expert to a cobotics newcomer.  

www.kuka.com  

Automation Company Launches Machine Tending Solution to Answer Labor Challenges 
Schunk, Mitsubishi Electric, Kuka, G.F. Machining Solutions, machine tending, automation, robotics, automated mobility, cobots, ABB Robotics
Mitsubishi Electric Automation’s LoadMate Plus product line.

Mitsubishi Electric Automation Inc.’s (Vernon Hills, IL) LoadMate Plus™ product line is an engineered solution that is easy to implement while offering flexibility and mobility to address the ongoing challenge of labor shortages throughout the manufacturing sector. Machine tending is the process of loading and unloading parts or materials into a machine tool center, most commonly used with vertical machining center mills and turning centers (lathes) including CNC Swiss Machines.
Automation is becoming increasingly attractive to manufacturers due to labor shortages and pressures to maximize productivity. Through flexible connectivity via Ethernet and easy programming through the Direct Robot Control (DRC) feature of Mitsubishi Electric’s M8 Series, machine tending can benefit customers that may not have experienced robot programmers available. In addition to DRC, almost any CNC machine can be connected to a shop floor via discrete I/O for non-M8 CNC controls from Mitsubishi Electric and other companies. Further support is available through Mitsubishi Electric trained engineers to service both robot and CNC. Additionally, Mitsubishi Electric Automation offers a five-year robot maintenance and warranty program. 

“Mitsubishi Electric Automation Inc.’s machine tending solutions portfolio provides a cost-effective answer to ongoing labor shortages and maximized productivity challenges many manufacturers are currently experiencing,” said Dave Simak, service product manager at Mitsubishi Electric Automation Inc. “Our experts work closely with your team to find and implement a turnkey solution that is seamlessly integrated, fully supported, and delivers ROI quickly.”  

https://us.mitsubishielectric.com

New Partnership Will Develop Automation Explorer Simulation Tool 
Schunk, Mitsubishi Electric, Kuka, G.F. Machining Solutions, machine tending, automation, robotics, automated mobility, cobots, ABB Robotics
Automation Explorer will take the term “digital twin” to the next level with photo-realistic imaging of manufacturing environments, advanced robot control software, and world-class automation technology in one unique experience.

SCHUNK USA (Morrisville, NC) has partnered with READY Robotics to develop the Automation Explorer simulation tool. As automation technology advances, simulation technology must progress further to support specification, deployment, and re-deployment of automated systems. Automation Explorer is a state-of-the-art technology where users will virtually experience and interact with SCHUNK automation technology in a highly immersive and detailed, physics-based simulation tool. 

NVIDIA Isaac SimTM, built on NVIDIA OmniverseTM, is a simulation platform used to develop, test, and deploy AI-based robotics applications. Its robust physics engine enables detailed, realistic simulations that closely emulate real-world conditions. READY Robotics is the developer of ForgeOS, the industrial OS for robots and automation, and a pioneer in cutting-edge automation solutions that overcome the obstacles faced by manufacturers. Automation Explorer combines NVIDIA Isaac Sim, READY Robotics’ ForgeOS, and SCHUNK’s automation technologies. 

Automation Explorer will take the term “digital twin” to the next level. Photo-realistic imaging of manufacturing environments, advanced robot control software, and world-class automation technology come together in one unique experience. 

Physics-based technical product data from automation technology, like grippers, will drive the simulation. This allows true virtual commissioning of real-world automation projects. Simulating process automation with physics-based calculations means more accurate visualization and optimization before a robot ever reaches a production floor. “By connecting ForgeOS and NVIDIA Isaac Sim, customers will be able to control any robotic hardware and SCHUNK peripherals in simulation and the real world, in exactly the same way,” said Kel Guerin, co-founder and COO, READY Robotics.  

“Automation Explorer will bring confidence to both new and experienced users of automation that their process is being optimized to its full potential,” said Milton Guerry, president, SCHUNK USA. “Whether investigating automation possibilities for the first time, or re-deploying automation equipment for a new task, Automation Explorer brings major opportunity for understanding automation process potential while also digitalizing and simplifying deployment tasks. 

www.schunk.com  

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