Automated loading and unloading

Posted on 22 Oct 2019 and read 797 times
Automated loading and unloading Following the launch earlier this year of the manual Swift Klamp HSK work-holding system for use on machining centres, Salisbury-based 1st Machine Tool Accessories Ltd (www.1mta.com) has introduced a new robotic loading and unloading arrangement based on the same principle.

It was demonstrated at EMO 2019 on the stand of Kitagawa, for which 1st MTA acts as sole sales and service agent in the UK and Irish markets.

The automatic system, which maximises spindle up-time, uses a deeper clamping head to accommodate the low-pressure (35 bar) hydraulics, plus a mounting plate with dedicated adapter to suit three-, four- or five-axis vertical-spindle or horizontal-spindle machining centres.

Pneumatic detection of correct seating of the head ensures accurate machining and eliminates scrap, while air blow from the underside prevents swarf from entering the mechanism during exchange.

As with the manual Swift Klamp system,the automated variant is available in HSK-A40, HSK-A63 and HSK-A100 sizes.

Depending on the equipment, skills and requirements that a potential customer may have, packages configured by 1st MTA may include a workpiece stocker, a six-axis industrial robot with gripper, the Swift Klamp work-holding system with head, multiple work-holders, control unit and pump, and an engineered interface to the machine tool comprising electrical control circuitry and plumbing of the hydraulic and pneumatic channels through the table — as well as a tombstone, if necessary.

The Swift Klamp system uses a rigid HSK face-and-taper interface — normally used for holding cutting tools — to provide a high-precision, secure and low-interference quick-change method for clamping workpieces.

It is characterised by a high resistance to the bending forces generated by metal-cutting operations.

Sitting on top of the interface are multiple options for holding the workpiece, including a vice, flange clamps and side clamps. Alternatively, a dovetail interface with a compact clamping surface allows enhanced tool access.

Billets must be pre-milled with a slot to match the holder profile, using a solid carbide cutter provided specifically for the purpose.

Steel or aluminium blanks in various sizes and pre-machined with a dovetail can also be supplied.

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