Speedio 30-taper three- to five-axis machining centres built by Brother are able to produce components in such short cycle times that it is difficult to load raw material and unload finished parts by hand quickly enough.
So to maximise production efficiency, the Japanese machine manufacturer introduced Feedio, a new robotic handling system, at the EMO
exhibition in 2017.
An automated cell comprising both products is now available for demonstration at the Kenilworth showroom of sales and service agent, Whitehouse Machine Tools
It is set up to show British and Irish manufacturers the suitability of the configuration for unattended and overnight running in high-volume production environments.
A Speedio M300X3 five-axis trunnion-type mill-turn centre has been chosen to demonstrate the benefits of the Feedio automatic load/unload system. The machine is able to perform prismatic and rotational metal-cutting in one hit within a 300 x 440 x 305mm working volume.
Notable features include a BIG-Plus face-and-taper contact spindle that accelerates from zero to 16,000rev/min in 0.2sec, a -30 to +120deg tilting table axis, a high-output turning capability that generates a maximum torque of 102Nm and rotational speeds up to 1,500rev/min from zero in less than 0.3sec, and a Brother control with increased memory for holding multiple programs.
When milling, up to 30m/min cutting feed rate maintains a high level of productivity and 400Nm of C-axis clamping force ensures that accuracy is maintained. Non-productive time is minimised by repositioning the X, Y, Z, A and C axes simultaneously during tool change, which takes place in 1.5sec chip-to-chip.
To extract the most from the high productivity that this specification offers, the machine is linked to a Feedio component storage and robotic handling system developed jointly by Brother and ABB.
The plug-and-play, retrofittable automation is able to serve either one machine, or alternatively two to enable op 10 and op 20 machining of prismatic parts on six sides.
The automation unit is designed specifically for Speedio machines rather than being a generic solution from a third party provider. It communicates with the machining centre control via a Profibus interface and a smart ABB teach pendant, incorporating a customised Speedio page, is provided for programming the six-axis robot.
Having a handling capacity of 10 or 20kg, it can be equipped with standard grippers or an adjustable double gripper.
A camera and built-in PC allow the robot to detect where on the upper inlet conveyor a billet, casting or forging has been placed. After machining, components are returned to an output conveyor positioned below the first.
Options include a static station for re-gripping a component, a turn-around station, and equipment for deburring, washing, air cleaning and marking.