Schunk has developed a workpiece gripper that enables a machine tool to serve as its own robot. The gripper has an integral taper that installs in a machine’s spindle just like a tool holder. This allows the machine to pick parts from a magazine on its work table and insert them into a workholding device for machining.
This video shows the gripper being used to manipulate toolholder workpieces on a machine in the company’s manufacturing facility. In the video, the gripper first picks a completed workpiece from a chuck and delivers it to a horizontal, rotary carousel. It then rotates the manual carousel to bring a fresh workpiece to the twelve-o’clock position, removes that new part from the carousel and delivers it to the chuck for machining.
For more information about this application, see the article under “Editor Picks” at right.