Stephanie Monsanty worked as a summer intern in 2012 and joined the Modern Machine Shop team as assistant editor later that fall. She edits product and industry news for the print magazine as well as MMS Online. Stephanie completed her M.A. in professional writing at the University of Cincinnati in 2013, and also holds a B.A. in English literature and history from the University of Mount Union.
Esab's Swift Arc robotic welding system consists of a Kuka robot and controller with an Esab Aristo welding source, mounted on roller casters and fully enclosed.
Many companies cite a lack of skilled workers as a reason for implementing robotics and other automation, but what if robots could help train humans? That’s the idea behind Esab’s Swift Arc mobile learning system. The robotic welding cell is designed to demonstrate, develop and teach proper welding techniques as well as robot programming skills.
The fully enclosed robotic welding system features Esab’s Aristo U5000i power source alongside a Kuka KR6 900 robot and controller. Heavy-duty roller casters provide mobility for on-site training. The safety system and operator control panel enable users to practice troubleshooting and programming techniques while gaining the hands-on experience necessary to operate robotic systems on the shop floor. Click here to read more about the system.
Users of GTI’s VibePro system can monitor, record and analyze data directly on iPad devices.
Headquartered in Manchester, New Hampshire, GTI Spindle Technology provides spindle products, repairs and services for a range of industries including aerospace, defense, medical and more. The company, however, doesn’t just fix broken spindles or sell new ones—it hopes to help shops avoid broken equipment altogether with its VibePro preventive maintenance system that operates through the iPad and iPad Mini. VibePro 6, the most recent iteration, was released in November and is optimized for use with iOS 7 and Apple’s new iPad Air.
The system combines iPad hardware with GTI’s software and various accessories to monitor and analyze indicators including vibrations, balance and more. For example, the Bluetooth-enabled Node Therma sensor records temperatures ranging from -94°F to +716°F within its 15-foot measuring zone, and sends the data wirelessly to the iPad for analysis. Users can view machine data on the iPad itself, or access the information in the cloud via a free web app.
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.