A new off-the-shelf robotic automation cell, first previewed at MACH 2018
, will be unveiled at two XYZ Machine Tools launch events next month.
The first of these will be at the company’s headquarters in Devon on 10 September, while the second will be at its Nuneaton Technical Centre on 12 September.
Live demonstrations are also due to take place at the Northern Manufacturing show in Manchester at the beginning of October and at Advanced Engineering at the NEC (Birmingham) in November.
Robo-Tend — designed from scratch by XYZ in collaboration with Manchester-based automation specialist Adelphi Automation — brings robotic automation within the reach of traditional sub-contract engineering businesses.
It is fully compatible with the Siemens ShopMill and ShopTurn controls used on XYZ’s new vertical machining centres and turning centres, and it can be retrofitted to existing models.
The compact stand-alone cell is on wheels, so it can be moved between machines in a workshop as demand dictates (taking around 30min to become operational again).
The camera vision system uses markers on up to four vices on the table of a machining centre and similar markers in the component storage drawers to set up the cell. This means that the exact positioning of components or vices is not critical.
In addition, the Robo-Tend interface has been designed to make programming the cell as straightforward as possible.
Central to the system is the self-contained Kuka Cybertech robot, with a rated total load of 10kg (larger-capacity robots are available, up to 25kg).
This operates within a movable compartment that is attached to the drawer system where billets and finished parts are stored.
The versatility of the system means that it is equally at home servicing a machining centre as a turning centre; features such as component ‘flipping’ for second-operation work are also available.
XYZ’s managing director, Nigel Atherton, said: “Robot automation is nothing new, but for many the perception is that it is only suitable for high-volume production environments, such as the automotive sector.
"The XYZ Robo-Tend system addresses this and makes automation viable for lower-volume production. We are confident that we have created a solution that will open up automation to a much wider audience at a very competitive price.”
Spaces at the launch events are limited, so those interested in attending are advised to register — either online at www.xyzmachinetools.com
, by email at or by calling 01823 674200.