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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2001, MCB UP Limited
Lathe automation made simple
Lathe automation made simple
Keywords: Automation, Computer numeric control
Automation of virtually any CNC chucking lathe is easy with the bolt-on Robo Loader RH-series from Yuasa Warwick Machinery (see Plate 6). Over 5,000 of these systems have been sold in Japan, based on their capability to increase turning machine utilisation to around 80 per cent from a typical 50 per cent when manually loaded.
Plate 6 A Matsuura RH-series Robo Loader fitted to a lathe can increase machine utilisation to around 80 per cent from a typical 50 per cent when manually loaded
Robo Loader is manufactured by Matsuura Iron Works and comprises two major elements: a carousel-type, multi-pallet work feeder and a pick-and-place loader arm. When installed, the system takes up very little space. For example, by siting it parallel to the machine, a strip of floor area only 600mm wide is occupied.
The loader arm is equipped with load and unload chuck-type grippers, facilitating exchange of workpieces at the end of each machining cycle in around seven seconds, depending on weight. Taking into account the time needed for automatic opening and closing of the lathe door and air blow to clean the component which has just been machined, total chip-to-chip time is 15 seconds.
If auto load is not required for a particular job, the arm parks well clear of the working area of the lathe, allowing convenient access for manual loading.
Five Robo Loader models are available, offering capability to exchange components from 20mm to 200mm diameter and weighing up to 5kg. The standard work feeder has ten pallets but models are available with up to 40. Maximum pallet load is 40kg.
The system is developed for high levels of functional reliability. Local control is by a fixed sequencer using pneumatic or hydraulic actuation of major functions. Component exchange is initiated using additional M-codes within the machine's CNC system. Fitting requirements are straightforward, needing provision only of an automatic door on the machine.
Once installed, adjustment of the work carriers and pick-and-place grippers to suit different components is simple and rapid, using a combination of set-bolt adjustment of the carriers and exchangeable, internal or external gripping jaws.
Robo Loader is just one product in the Matsuura range of automated component handling systems, which also include gantry systems and bespoke solutions for linking multiple machines.
For further information contact Stuart Jackson, Manager, Yuasa Warwick Machinery Ltd, Production Machinery Division, Rothwell Road, Wedgnock Industrial Estate, Warwick CV34 5PY, UK. Tel: +44 (0) 1926 497806; Fax: +44 (0) 1926 401039; E-mail: email@example.com