Makino’s MMC-R automation system is designed for robotic fixture plate distribution in HMCs and VMCs. Suited for high- mix, low-volume production, the system enables manufacturers to increase spindle utilization and reduce setup times through accurate and reliable machine loading, unloading and part storage, the company says.
The flexible automation system can be customized for simple shopfloor integration and improved utilization of capital assets. It is typically composed of a four- or five-axis HMC or VMC; a six-axis robot transport; work-setting stations; fixture plate storage racks; and fixture plates. An optional seventh-axis floor track can be integrated into the automation system to support additional machining and storage capacities.
The steel fixture plates are available in a variety of sizes, based on machine size and robot specifications. According to the company, Delphin a interface provides secure fixture plate transfer between the robot gripper and the machine tombstone for accurate and repeatable part production. By transporting fixture plates instead of a complete machine pallet, the system can reduce part fixture costs, the company says.
An optional MAS-A5 cell controller can coordinate production schedules of fixture plate transfers to reduce machine downtime. The cell controller monitors the conditions of the robot transport and issues transfer tasks to the robot.