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Fanuc robot loading cells for sub-contract engineers
Fanuc robot loading cells for sub-contract engineers

Fanuc robot loading cells for sub-contract engineers

Added to MTDCNC by FANUC UK Ltd on 11 September 2014


When MTD recently visited Fanuc’s new headquarters Coventry, we were given an insight by the company’s project engineer Mr Paul Coombes on how easy it is to integrate automation into all types of machine tools to optimise productivity.
The demonstration we received from Paul showed how raw parts can be simply loaded from a raw-parts tray into a machine tool using a Fanuc robot loading cell. Once machining is completed, the double gripper robot conveniently unloaded the workpiece from the work envelope and placed it into a finished parts tray. The particular robot demonstrated was capable of moving parts up to 10kg, however, as Paul states: 'The robotic loading system can be bespoke to each and every application and machine tool. The type and size of robot and gripper system can be adapted to a wide variety of parts with payloads up to 1350kg whilst the loading and unloading system can be a conveyor, static or pick and place set-up. Whilst many see robotic loading as a production tool, more commonly the systems are integrated into machine shops that demand flexibility and frequent component changeovers. We can adapt the cell and it can communicate with the CAD program to suit all manner of set-ups and component types.'

For customers aiming to run lights-out, the Fanuc cell can be configured to run tens of different part types, so a machine shop can, for example produce 20 different components in a lights out scenario utilising the robot cell. In addition to this, the robot can be configured to pick the part mid-cycle to conduct secondary operations such as deburring, visual inspection and even turn the part around for back-end working.

With regard to speed, the smallest robot can run at anything up to 4m/s whilst larger robots will operate with a maximum speed of 2m/s. Concluding the demo, Mr Coombes said: 'What machine shops don’t realise is the flexibility and capability of the systems. They can be integrated into all types of application. The key benefits from a Fanuc robot cell are the ability to reduce labour costs, improve productivity and also improve the quality and consistency of machined parts.'

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