The increasing demand for automation solutions in the UK manufacturing engineering sector has boosted the requirement for multi skilled engineers. These engineers must be capable of programming CNC machine tools combined with the knowledge to integrate industrial and collaborative robot systems.
When considering the integration of robotic solutions to CNC machine tools, a holistic approach is needed. There are many work-holding and tooling decisions to be made, from coBots to plug and play Plug & Play solutions now opening up Automation solutions to evening smaller manufacturers.
Whilst the UK manufacturing sector has not traditionally invested heavily in automation, compared to Italy and Germany, recent changes in world standing and economic direction is driving smaller businesses to embrace higher efficiency machines tools.
What are the Challenges and questions facing our UK customers in manufacturing of component parts?
- How to reduce or eliminate set up time?
- How to increase productivity?
- How to increase machine utilisation?
- How to reduce labour while increasing productivity?
- How to be more competitive?
- How to get better utilisation of floor space?
Machine Tool manufacturers now provide answers to some of these questions with technology offering the following solutions:
- Multi-operational machining in one set up
- Multi-face machining in one set up
- Larger tool changers to minimise tool set-ups from part to part.
But where the bottle neck can be is in the feeding of the machine tool.
One growing solution is automation of this process providing
- Increased utilisation of the machine tool
- Providing unmanned running
- Reducing labour
- Increasing productivity and profitability
Automation is no longer for high volume component part manufacturing.
The technology and solutions provided today offer a great deal of flexibility and useability.
Features such as:
- Flexible, easy to set grippers
- Vision camera that is specifically designed for robot guidance and has a very simple and intuitive workpiece teach-in process. No requirement for component templates or trays
- Simple part infeed and outfeed conveyors
- Easy manual driven programming
WMT have now provided many installations demonstrating the benefits as pointed out above increasing our customers productivity, making them more competitive on a global market and more importantly more profitable