Hurco sets up automated production demonstration
Posted on 08 Aug 2020 and read 974 times
Following the UK launch by Buckinghamshire-based Hurco Europe Ltd
of a range of portable collaborative robots (cobots) at the end of 2019, the company has set up a manufacturing cell at its High Wycombe technical centre to explain to potential customers the way in which machine tool tending may be simply and inexpensively automated.
The company is keen to explain the productivity and cost benefits that come from maximising spindle up-time and freeing machinists to perform more high-value tasks.
There is a range of several options supplied by Hurco's US subsidiary, ProCobots. Most models use the UR10e cobot manufactured by Universal Robots of Denmark, selected because of its high build quality and reliability.
The model installed in the demonstration cell has a twin gripper attachment and feeds a Hurco TM8i three-axis CNC lathe having a maximum turning diameter of 256mm and a Z-axis travel of 550mm.
A double gripper is fitted to the cobot to load billets and unload workpieces and it uses an optional QR code that the robot scans to reference the robot location when it is moved from machine to machine, without the need for additional set-up.
Cobots are designed to work safely alongside machine tool operators to augment their activities by taking over repetitive tasks. They can be connected to any new or existing machine tool and are ideal for high-mix, low-volume production in job shops.
A notable feature of these cobots is their almost human-like force sensing, meaning that a component can be pushed into a location or machine jaws with confidence that it has been located precisely.
All models in the ProCobot range have a compact footprint, so a machine can easily be operated manually while a cobot is in-situ. As every application is different, there is a choice of electric, hydraulic and vacuum component handling devices. A user company may prefer to manufacture its own grippers or grid-plates for locating stock and finished components.