News | May 22, 2017

Lathes Can Be Automated Without Specialist Knowledge

Machine tool manufacturer DMG MORI has introduced a mobile robotic cell to automate its CNC turning centres. Called Robo2Go, it loads raw billets from a tray and unloads machined components automatically. The unit can be relocated easily by pallet truck to serve up to four different lathes sequentially on a shop floor.

Operation requires no specialist knowledge of robots, as graphics-based programming is via a Powertool app running directly in DMG MORI’s proprietary machine tool control interface, CELOS. All the operator has to do is enter the dimensions of the workpiece, select the chuck and gripper, choose one of the pre-defined workpiece tray arrangements and start the automatic process.

Silvio Krüger, CEO of DMG MORI Systems commented, “As no expert knowledge is needed, this intuitive way of programming a robot is especially suitable for small and medium-sized enterprises that want to exploit the competitive advantage of flexible, unattended production.

“Reluctance to automate has been noticeable in this customer segment, partly because of a lack of programming knowledge and also due to uncertainty that the robot would be fully utilised.

“It caused some to regard such an investment as too risky, but the simplicity of Robo2Go has overcome this obstacle.”

The low-cost equipment allows free access to the working area of the lathe for setting up. Once the system is working, a laser scanner prevents the operator from approaching the machine or robot, so there is no need for physical guarding. If a person encroaches on the periphery of the defined safety area, robot motion slows, while close approach halts movement instantly.

The robot is available with a maximum load capacity of 10 kg, 20 kg or 35 kg. Workpiece diameter can be between 25 and 125 mm and length is from 50 to 250 mm. Workpiece tray weight capacity is 700kg. Included in the purchase price of the cell are an automatic door for the lathe, automation interface, CELOS Powertool app and commissioning.