Modern Machine Shop

JAN 2018

Modern Machine Shop is focused on all aspects of metalworking technology - Providing the new product technologies; process solutions; supplier listings; business management; networking; and event information that companies need to be competitive.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 80 of 163

Automated Job-Shop Turning Modern Machine Shop 79 had been using a bar feeder to turn some parts, but barstock larger than 2 inches in diameter had to be run at reduced speeds to avoid the bars vibrating in the feeder. But with the Load- Assistant using sawed blanks instead, parts that are greater than this 2-inch-diameter limit can be turned at faster speeds thanks to the new system. The shop has also found that the Halter system makes it easier for the operator to be away from the machine as it continues to work, because its predictability lets the operator know exactly when to return to reload it. "He doesn't have to be right in this area," Mr. Hicks says. This enables Kilgore to run parts 24/7, which the shop was not able to do before without incurring overtime costs and quality concerns. Recently, the shop ran parts over a three-day weekend, during which Mr. Hicks and automation leader Tim Acres knew exactly when the robot's staging pallet would need to be reloaded. They took turns going into the shop for 35 to 45 minutes at a time to remove finished parts from the system, check them and reload the pallet with blanks. Mr. Hicks was not looking for automation to replace his current employees, but to make better use of their valuable time. This system now enables one operator to run three or four machines at once instead of one or two, giving the shop its desired increase in capacity The flexible robot system can be used to automate production of different types of parts, including this fluid control body, which is made from a hexagonal blank. Kilgore worked out how to use this shape of stock in the system, which more generally runs square and round blanks. When the parts on one side of the system's adjustable grid plate are complete, the robot rotates the turntable so that operators can unload them and refill the plate with sawed blanks. The system's predictability enables the operators to walk away from the machine and know exactly when to return to it.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Modern Machine Shop - JAN 2018