For those working in the field of machining services, you probably know that loading and unloading your cutting and molding machines can be accomplished in many different ways. At MiQ Partners, our experts outline some of these techniques below and the things that you need to consider when going through this process.
Reasons for Automation
Loading and unloading your machines manually is not only inefficient and time consuming, it can also be dangerous. This means that the nature of your company’s load/unload operations can impact the quality and cost of your product as well as the safety of your staff. Of course, some companies may be small enough to get away with manual loading and unloading, but it really depends on factors such as:
Speed of part handling needed
Size of machines and parts
Weight of machines and parts
Labor cost and availability
Benefits of Automation
Integrating automated machine tending can bring many benefits to your company in addition to those touched on above. For one, you will increase your system uptime dramatically – no breaks are needed and you can always be sure that the process is smooth, effective and not tiring out your staff. Additionally, the lack of any human labor means increased ergonomics and safety and thus less compensation claims from your workers.
Choices for Automation
There are various choices for automated machining services, each catered to different kinds of manufacturing environments. We’ve listed a few common ones below.
This refers to pick and place devices that possess a fixed motion stroke on one or more axis. They typically need to be configured physically as opposed to programmed digitally.
Single Multi-Axis Robot
These robots are typically mounted in a fixed position either near or inside a machine tool and if mounted externally, can move parts to secondary operations such as trimming. The next step up from here is putting a single multi-axis robot onto a linear floor track and allowing it to move between other machines and secondary processes.
Overhead Linear Gantries
These robots are ideal to those that need to service multiple machines but don’t want to take up too much floor space. They are cost-effective and can be mounted over a line of machine tools and move the parts to secondary or staging operations.
The evolution of machining services has lead to the development of many different kinds of automation options, all of which offer their own unique benefits and help reduce the stress and workload on your employees. For more information on the latest advancements in the machining industry, take a look at our blog.