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Benefits Of Machine Tending To Next-generation Of CNC Machining

6 November 2020


The next generation of CNC machining automation revolutionized the modern manufacturing methods by gradually reducing the manual processes to machine setup, product loading, and unloading. New technological trends offer the removal of loading and unloading processes and promoting lights-out machining. Read on and dive into the present status of machine tending and its contribution to our current technology.

What Is Machine Tending?

Machine tending refers to a production operation where a robot operates an industrial machine. Typically, its applications are pick-and-place processes. Its advantages are raising productivity, reducing the risk of injury, and lowering workforce costs.

Latest Machine Tending Technology Update 2020


Robotics and automation news released an article in September talking about Midwest Engineered Systems looking into the next generation of machine tending. They discussed how valuable it’s after combining machine vision and robotics.
They cited Scott Woida, President of Midwest Engineered Systems, saying, “Lights out manufacturing will never really get here unless we start solving the next step in machine tending, and that’s finding ways to deal with jobs that aren’t simple.” Woida also told them, “I think we’ve made a good step forward with these systems.”
The new technology that they’re talking about resembles how Halter CNC loading robots work. Halter CNC offers robotic systems that can startup as quickly as possible, built into an integrated unit, and has a small footprint that allows transfer by a forklift. The said article discusses that these elements “vastly reduce the amount of time to get a system set up and operational.” it’s a revolutionary technology for machine shop owners, maximizing a CNC machine’s capabilities and reducing operational costs in the long run.
You can infer that modern machine tending will change how factories work and adapt to our modern era’s challenges. The said article also mentions that these systems only need power, air, and Ethernet connections to finish the installation.

Benefits Of Machine Tending To CNC Machine Automation

Leveraging this breakthrough technology requires a considerable investment. However, because it can increase with activity and improve the working environment, your business can expect a high ROI for this technology. Here are the benefits of machine tending for your CNC machine shop.
  • Raising productivity: While robots can continue the operation unattended even after a typical workday, it can operate with speed and precision. Compared to a human operator, the difference is only a matter of seconds per part. But with thousands of process parts, the saved cycle time will accumulate, magnifying the increase of productivity.
  • Promoting safe operations: A robot doing a risky job such as loading parts to a CNC machine decreases the risks of injury on itself. It also frees employees from tedious yet dangerous jobs, focusing on more productive tasks.
  • Multitasking: Machine tending promotes robots to do other tasks other than loading and unloading. Depending on the workpiece material, robots can take on a precision task where humans struggle to do. Robots can also tend more than one machine, which can help save space on the factory floor. Like next-generation CNC machining, machine tending systems also enable robots to use multiple end effectors. 

Summary

Machine tending offers to make workloads easier, especially for the next generation of CNC machining. It can provide years to decades of unattended yet safe operations, magnified productivity, and multitasking. You can agree that machine tending needs considerable capital, but this technology can adapt to the continuous stream of technological challenges.