Why Cobots for CNC Machine Tending

CNC machine tending can be repetitive and uneventful. A collaborative robot (cobot) can be used to tend machines and relieve highly-trained machinists of repetitive work thus freeing their time to be used to add value to your machine shop such as setting-up for the next job in another machine, CNC programming, and parts inspection.   Other features include:

Collaborative and Safe: Give dirty, dangerous, and dull jobs to cobots to reduce repetitive strain and accidental injuries to humans.  If the machine tending robot encounters a person, the patented technology limits the forces at contact. Collaborative robots can also be programmed to operate in reduced mode when a human enters the robot’s work area and resume full speed when the person leaves.  80% of the thousands of our robots worldwide operate with no safety guarding (after risk assessment). The safety system in our robots is approved and certified by TÜV (The German Technical Inspection Association).

Quicker Deployment: Cobots have reduced machine tending deployment time from weeks to days for CNC machine shops. The set-up and deployment time is approximately 3 days which includes the integration to the CNC, the proper machine tending training, programming and the initial pilot production run.

Flexible Automation with a Small Footprint: Don’t be limited by traditional robots that can only do one thing. Collaborative robots are lightweight, space-saving, and easy to re-deploy to multiple applications without changing where your CNC machines are currently located. Moving the cobot to a new process is fast and easy, giving you the agility to automate even small batch runs and frequent line changeovers.

More Reasonable Payback Period:  Add value to your machine shop with the collaborative robot arm that pays for itself more quickly than any other robot in the industry.  The breakeven for the investment can be realized in as little as 6 months depending on the number of shifts you run annually.

The applications used most with cobots are Pick and Place and CNC Machine Tending.

Cobots in Action

Additional Benefits to Cobot Integration

Eighty-nine percent of manufacturers have difficulty finding qualified workers, according to SME. As an industry we have seen how cobots are filling the skills gap for the retiring generation of manufacturing workers. A Loup Ventures research report states that 34% of the industrial robots sold by 2025 will be collaborative – designed to work safely alongside humans in factories and plants. In order to stay competitive and have any hope of driving in millennials to your roster, the sooner you invest in cobots, the more ahead of the game you will be. Millennials want the latest and greatest where they work, and they will pursue you first if they know you have the technology they seek.

Another aspect to consider is employee retention and attraction this automation has to offer.  Machinists welcome the removal of the monotonous tasks and again, will seek out your company over another where this would be common in their day-to-day responsibilities.

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