Machining is becoming ever more complicated and expensive with the lack of skilled labour, customers requiring tighter tolerances on demanding materials and time reductions critical in the fast paced world we all live in.
So how can turn-key solutions improve your machining?
The original turn-key solution, bar feeders. Saving on manpower and providing greater productivity by automatically feeding bar stock into the machine after each part is completed. The humble bar feeder offers continuous machining without and operator present for every part to load and unload. Expanding on the bar feeder with a simple parts catcher can also give larger returns on cycle time reduction.
Gantry loading and unloading systems
Floor space is at a premium and multiple machine tools doing different operations of the same part is all in the past. Machine tools with fully integrated gantry loading systems save on space by having a very small footprint. Gantry systems linked to CNC lathes with multiple spindles / turrets and equipped with live tooling reduce the need for additional lathes to do multiple operations and even in cases the removal of requiring a CNC milling centre. The other added benefit of gantry systems are they can be integrated into measuring stations to check the part accuracy and even automatically adjust wear or offset parameters in the machine tool control thus increasing output and reducing downtime.
Loading and unloading systems
Fully automating your loading and unloading of parts on and off of conveyors and into the machine tool can drastically reduce the cost of machining with reducing repetitive labour requirements. Freeing up your staffs time to focus on more profit yielding tasks.
Robot Arms and Cobots
The rapid rise in robotic automation and the increasing ease of use of cobots make smaller quantity batch work easy to maintain and automate. Having a dedicated robot arm or the moveable cobot both give the option to have your operator or machinist work on multiple machine tools and multiple parts at the same time, saving on labour costs and increasing profitability of all the jobs being worked on.
Presetting tools makes for faster cycle starts and getting the spindle to do what it needs to, spinning and making chips. There are multiple ways of setting tools, be it off the machine tool or in process while machining but the time saving of not having the machinist or setter spending valuable time dialling in tooling and offsets while the machine spindle is idle.
Taking the part from concept to machined component takes time and investment, in order to make sure that the job is profitable it needs to have the fastest possible ROI. Integrating turn-key solutions from the onset of the project means that more spindle up time is guaranteed and faster payback on capital equipment and consumable items is assured thus providing higher profits sooner. Making use of every possible hour available in a day for spindle utilisation as well as reducing labour costs by having more unmanned machining processes easily outweighs the reasons to not implement turn-key machining solutions from day 1.
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