Tidy Machining Cell
8. January 2013
This compact cell designed by Gosiger Automation demonstrates the advantages of automated turning and inspection for extended periods of unattended operation. The cell includes a Hardinge T51 MSY SP Super-Precision turning center with subspindle, a six-axis FANUC M-10iA robot and a programmable Renishaw Equator measurement device.
The system uses minimal floor space and enables easy, ergonomic access to the turning center for part-to-part changeover and routine tool service. The robot is positioned close to the front of the machine and offset to the left of the door to maximize operator access to the machine. The T-51 MSY SP turning center, released earlier this year, has a 2-inch capacity, collet-ready main spindle that enables cutting to be closest to the spindle bearings. This spindle design along with Hardinge’s Harcrete-reinforced cast iron base is said to provide excellent rigidity for stable machining processes. The Equator part inspection system is built around a programmable, parallel kinematic measurement unit that rapidly compares a newly machined part to a reliable dimensional master.
In this case, the cell is shown producing hydraulic spool valve housings. However, quick-changeover features such as Hardinge’s collet-ready spindle enable it to be set up to make a wide variety of parts in relatively small production lot sizes. Collets, step chucks (oversized collets), Sure-Grip expanding collets, FlexC quick-change collet systems and power chucks can all be used to grip various workpiece shapes, sizes and materials.
But is automation right for you? Gosiger Automation offers a white paper that debunks the most common myths about machine tool automation, such as only large corporations can afford or justify robotics; robots are a maintenance headache; and robots take a long time to set up and change over. Download the white paper to learn more and take a quiz to find out if robotics is right for your shop.