Robotic machine tending can be referred to as the process of routinely loading and unloading an assembly machine. The most common kind of machine tending is CNC Machine Automation or the Injection moulding machines. The use of manufacturing automation in machine tending enables the industrial machines to function without human involvement and can run tirelessly all night without any supervision and with the lights out.
A collaborative robot in Machine Tending
A collaborative robot is designed in such a way that it can function seamlessly with the human workforce without causing any harm or injury which means they are able to operate without safety guarding.
The following are some of the Robotic specifications in manufacturing automation when loading and unloading parts:
- Payload: This is the total amount of weight that the robot can handle and this can be done by multiplying the volume of the part weigh by its density.
- Reach: The robot will require to take a raw material from somewhere and then place it in the machine. It is important to note that the cobot’s payload automatically increases when a large reach is needed.
- Repeatability: During machine tending the cobots will be used to do the first setups where the raw materials are usually larger than the finished products. Force Torque Sensors can be used to enhance repeatability and increase precision.
The Machine Tending Applications
There are numerous applications in a range of industries where manufacturing automation in machine tending can significantlyprofit most industries.
The following are the applications of machine tending in the industry:
- Loading and Unloading Robotic parts for welding:Introducing manufacturing automation to an existing welding process can reduce the overall cycle times and improve productivity.
- CNC Grinder Tending:The grinding machines are believed to be the first in the market which are capable of speeding up the production of cycloidal and involute precision gears.
- Plastic Injection:Robotic technology automates the process of injection molding by using a robot that picks and places raw materials and finished parts into the machine.
- Press Tending:The process of press tending can be tedious, dangerous and very taxing when done by the human workforce. Manufacturing automation in machine tending makes the process more productive and faster.
- Furnace Tending:Robots have been designed to operate in harsh and toxic environments like furnace tapping where the temperatures are very hot to allow melting of metals.
Advantages of Robotic Machine Tending
Robotic technology is best suited for machine tending because they are able to work repeatedly without any downtime hence creating higher and more steady production.
The following are the benefits of automating the process of machine tending process:
- Most of the manufacturing automation used in machine tending are able to function effectively without any human intervention. You can therefore replace human workforce with robots for dull, dirty and repetitive jobs hence reducing the risks for repetitive strain injuries.
- The use of the robotic arms enables industries expand their production capabilities since they have the ability to automate most of the tedious and manual tasks.
- Robotic automation lowers the operation costs with none of the added traditional costs associated with robotic programming and set-up.
- The space-saving robot is the most suited choice for changing workflows and for small volume productions.
- Machine tending robots are more accurate and do not suffer from fatigue as compared to manual loading of materialsand unloading of the finished parts.
- The UR robot can be quickly reprogrammed and customized according to the manufacturing automation
Most of the tasks involved in machine tending is currently carried out by human workforce and it is one of the jobs that most people are not willing to do.
However, with the rise of robotic technology in most of the industries in the globe the process of machine tending is faster and random objects can be loaded flawlessly.