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12/22/2014

Automated Fixture Plate Distribution System Reduces Setup Times

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Makino’s MMC-R automation system for robotic plate distribution is said to promote efficiency in high-mix, low-volume production.

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Makino’s MMC-R automation system for robotic plate distribution is said to promote efficiency in high-mix, low-volume production. According to the company, the distribution system enables manufacturers to increase spindle utilization and reduce setup times through accurate, reliable machine loading, unloading and part storage.

A variety of customized configurations are available. A typical setup consists of four- and/or five-axis horizontal and vertical machining centers, a six-axis robot transport, worksetting station(s), fixture plate storage rack(s), and fixture plates. An optional seventh-axis floor track can be integrated into the system for additional machining and storage capacity. A range of steel fixture plate sizes are available, depending on the size of the machine, number of axes and robot specifications. Delphin interfaces provide secure fixture plate transfer between the robot gripper and machine tombstone for accurate, repeatable part production.

The MMC-R system can incorporate Makino’s MAS-A5 cell controller for coordinating production schedules of fixture plate transfers. The controller monitors the conditions of the robot transport and issues transfer tasks to the robot. A human-machine interface (HMI) is included for initial setup and alarm/event messaging to ensure in-progress production security.

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