Does this happen too often on your shop floor? A spindle remains idle on a horizontal turning center as it waits for the next blank to be inserted into the chuck. Or pallets of half-finished parts sit on the floor waiting to be loaded manually into the spindle. The operator opens the door, hits the unclamp pedal and removes the finished part, manually air blows the chuck to remove chips, inserts another piece of raw stock, clamps it down, closes the door, hits cycle start and sits back until the piece is machined. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat…
Want to speed the process up and keep the production moving? Consider adding a gantry loader to your next HTC order from Doosan.
A gantry is an overhead automated mechanical load/unload system for a machine tool. It can move unprocessed parts from a work stocker to the machining area, then can remove the finished piece and place it in the same, or another work stocker connected to that machine. It’s not a robot, which has more articulation and takes longer to program. A gantry loader simply works on three axes with traverse speeds as quick as 5,900 ipm. They are mechanically simple, reliable and easy to program through the same FANUC controller that runs your Doosan machine They work best in high-volume situations with a low parts mix like hydraulic fittings, flanges and shafts.
How Can a Gantry Help Me?
Gantries don’t take breaks, love repetitive motion and can easily load and unload parts weighing between 6 and 22 pounds in 6 to 14 seconds. They allow your HTC to run unattended, except for loading and unloading the work stocker and changing out worn cutting tools. Not only does this keep spindle utilization rates high, it might also be a better use of your workforce.
Gantry/Work Stocker Configurations
There are two types of gantry structures. Built-In types are available on the PUMA TW2100/2600 series, which are parallel twin spindle turning centers, and the TT1800SY, a dual turret turning center with a sub-spindle. Stand-alone types are available on Lynx models and the PUMA GT. Both styles are prepped at the Doosan factory with a gantry top automated door, rear coolant tank, air coolant blast and part chuck confirmation sensors.
Gantry grippers can be generic or custom, which usually means modifying the gripper fingers. As for types, there is the usual 3 gripper or parallel design and they can be either pneumatic or servo driven.
Configurations for work stockers break down as follows:
- A1 Type
Left Hand Work Stocker
- A2 Type
Right Hand Work Stocker
- A3 Extended Type
Left and Right Hand Work Stockers
Gantry loaders are an excellent way to easily add automation for instant return. If you have any questions about putting one to work for you, just contact Doosan and we’ll walk you through it.