Coventry-based Fanuc UK Ltd (www.fanuc.eu/uk/en
) has collaborated with the Birmingham company RoboPod (www.robopod.co.uk
) to launch i
tend, a turn-key machine-tending cell for its RoboDrill vertical machining centres.
A low-footprint cost-effective automation solution aimed specifically at sub-contract manufacturers, i
tend has a footprint of 850 x 2,500mm and incorporates a Fanuc M-10iD robot that uses bespoke tooling to automatically take workpieces from a magazine stacking unit, load the machining centre, and then return completed parts to the magazine tray.
Depending on the workpiece height, the stacking unit can hold up to nine 600 x 400mm trays, which are available in heights of 75mm, 120mm and 150mm; the i
tend magazine can accommodate nine, six or four trays respectively.
Moreover, because the robot is contained within the cell’s ‘casing’, peripheral guarding or fencing is not required.
tend can significantly improve productivity through unmanned running times, which can be up to 36hr (depending on the number of products and the complexity of the machine program).
A Fanuc iRVision 2D vision sensor mounted above the parts can quickly confirm that the correct workpiece is being loaded before processing. Furthermore, the robot, vision system and servo drives are controlled via the Fanuc ‘intelligent robot teach pendant’.
Andy Armstrong, sales and marketing manager at Fanuc UK, said: “The reduced footprint compared to existing cells on the market was a major driver in developing the i
“The ability to place our RoboDrill machines very close to each other has always been a competitive advantage, as they have no maintenance requirements from the side of the machine and therefore take up less space than comparable models. The same philosophy has been applied to the i
“At only 850mm wide, it has a very small footprint; it can also load one or two machines if needed, allowing even more value to be given by a single robot.”