Machine tending applications generally involve autonomously operating machines, like CNC machines. To fully understand what is involved in a machine tending cell, we break down its anatomy in this article.
According to the Oxford English dictionary, machine tending is "the action of supervising or tending a machine in operation, especially by performing routine checks and maintenance or ensuring the continuous supply of materials, as on a manufacturing production line; frequently with pejorative connotations of undemanding and tedious work."
To give you a first look at what is involved with a robotic machine tending cell, you may want to take a look at this video. Following, we broke down the anatomy of a machine tending cell to get a better picture of what is involved.
- CNC Machine: CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control, a machine that can autonomously machine parts.
- Vice: Mechanical device that holds parts while they are being machined.
- Controller: The part of the machine that calculates and coordinates the motions of the machine.
- Operator: The worker who is operating the machine and will operate the robot.
- Teach Pendant: This device sends requests to the robot and runs programs on it.
- Parts: The part goes into the machine, generally one at a time, as raw material, and comes out as a machined part.
- Gripper: The machine tending cell will require a Gripper to grasp the raw material and load it into the machine. It will also be needed to collect the machined part after the transformation process.
- Robot: An articulated robotic arm can perform the tedious actions of loading and unloading parts for the operator, including opening and closing the CNC door.
- CNC Door: The door must be closed while the machine is running. For security this keeps metal debris confined within the CNC and prevents part projection.
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