New robotic systems for automation machine tools


A new range of storage and handling systems for loading and unloading machine tools automatically has been introduced to the UK and Ireland by Whitehouse Machine Tools, Kenilworth, in partnership with the Turkish manufacturer Tezmaksan.

CubeBOX robotic cells are suitable for automating virtually any make of CNC lathe or machining centre, including those that Whitehouse markets (Biglia, Brother and Spinner), as well as other types of machine tool.

Robot operation is non-stop, resulting in close to 100% OEE (overall equipment effectiveness) of the machining cell, which is unattainable if machine tending is performed manually. Higher productivity and reduced lead times are the result. Fast loading and unloading of workpieces into and out of up to three machines enhances flexibility and agility, enabling quick adaptation to changing production requirements.

Amortisation of an investment is rapid, as the operator only needs to load billets, castings or forgings into the workpiece magazine and unload the finish-machined components. The person is therefore free to carry out other added-value tasks elsewhere on the shopfloor. Additionally, unattended ghost-shift production is possible, contributing further to profitability and allowing manufacturers to compete more effectively in a competitive global marketplace for machined components.

Cell integration and robot programming are said to be particularly easy. Connection to any make of machine control system is possible, eliminating the need for customisation or modification. The process therefore does not rely on a skilled integrator. The high degree of compatibility simplifies and lowers the cost of implementation. Downtime is minimised during installation and commissioning, which normally takes one day, reducing the expense associated with prolonged setup periods.

The foundation of all CubeBOX systems is RoboCAM, an intelligent, 2.5-axis CAD/CAM automation software developed by Tezmaksan. Operators can effortlessly integrate any compatible industrial 6-axis robot into the cell, without the need for prior programming knowledge. RoboCAM translates any uploaded 2D product drawing into a robot-friendly language, enabling seamless communication and execution of automated cycles.

The flexibility of CubeBOX allows its easy transportation between different machine tools within a factory. Such mobility ensures optimal utilisation of the system across various workstations, eliminating the need for separate robotic setups for each machine. The versatility empowers manufacturers to streamline their production efficiently, optimising resource allocation and floor space.

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