Stephanie Monsanty recently joined the Modern Machine Shop as our Assistant Editor. She holds a B.A. degree from the University of Mount Union in English literature and in history and is currently pursuing a master’s in professional writing at the University of Cincinnati. When she’s not editing product releases, helping out with other MMS tasks, teaching or going to class, Stephanie enjoys cooking, running and exploring the Queen City.
Delcam’s new robotics website highlights applications, developments and case studies on machining with industrial robots, in addition to information on the company’s own
PowerMill Robot Interface software.
We’ve featured several blog posts recently about the future possibilities presented by robotic machining, like this animated vision that won Fastems’ Challenge Competition earlier this year. Now, manufacturing software supplier Delcam has launched delcam-robotics.com, a website centered on the use of robots for machining. In addition to details on the company’s PowerMill Robot Interface software, the site highlights robot applications, case studies and current R&D projects.
One R&D initiative, the Comet project, could be of particular value for the future of robotic machining. The 30-month project, funded by the European Commission and coordinated in part by Delcam, aims to resolve the current limitations of machining with industrial robots, such as a lack of absolute positioning accuracy. Visit the site to learn more.
The portable M7000 marking gun from Propen, a Gravotech brand, aims to simplify marking workpieces on the shop floor. The micro-percussion marking system uses stylus technology to create permanent serial numbers, logos and other identifying marks on a range of materials. But in contrast to other handheld units, the M7000 has an integrated control unit with a 7" touchscreen for programming that can be used even with gloves. When equipped with the optional battery belt, the system becomes a fully mobile, all-in-one marking solution. As shown in a video on Propen’s YouTube channel, an operator wearing the belt can simply carry the handheld unit to the workpiece, program it via the touchscreen and mark the piece without using an external computer or power source.
Available from Big Kaiser, Lang Technovation’s Clean-Tec fan is an alternative to compressed air guns for removing debris from workpieces within enclosed machining centers. Unlike handheld air guns, the fan runs with the machine doors closed, protecting the operator from sprays of coolant or metal chips. And, because the fan operation is included in production programs, it’s a viable option for unattended or lights-out production.
The fan is constructed of a fiberglass compound with a steel center core and can be fitted into 20-mm or 3/4" diameter commercial shanks. Its fiberglass wings open when the spindle is turned on and collapse when it stops for easier storage, as shown in the video above.
Manufacturing marketplace MFGFind.com provides a forum
for manufacturers and customers of all sizes.
Launched October 7, MFGFind.com is a new online manufacturing marketplace for custom manufacturers to connect with customers. Manufacturers offer services including CNC and manual machining, welding, 3D printing, and more. While open to all, the website specifically hopes to attract smaller companies and customers with its lack of membership fees. Instead, a five-percent commission on customer payments keeps the site up and running.
Customers post quote requests and can invite specific manufacturers to submit quotes, or open the request to all. Once a customer chooses a manufacturer, both parties sign an agreement via the site. Payments are made through MFGFind’s secure invoicing system or escrow service. When the job is complete, the customer can leave a public review for the manufacturer.
ABB’s RobotStudio software enables the offline programming of robots.
When equipped with the Machine Tending PowerPac add-on, the system can simulate the complete tending cycle of a robotic cell.
Robotic cell automation has the potential to improve machine utilization, reduce costs, even increase worker safety—but only if the robots are set up and functioning properly. ABB Robotics has developed an add-on for its PC-based RobotStudio software that enables users to check the operation of a robotic cell before costly mistakes are made on the shop floor.
The Machine Tending PowerPac add-on is designed to help get a robotic cell up and running safely. The program includes a vast library of grippers and station types along with support for most machines and peripheral equipment. This data enables the system to realistically simulate, validate and optimize a robotic cell in the 3D virtual world before the system is put to work, even before the components are physically installed if necessary. According to the company, everything from cycle times to collision risks can be visualized through the software, improving productivity and preventing crashes.