Machine Tools

Automation solutions enable flexible retooling

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The standardised pallet changers by Hermle are offered in various versions, depending on the machine model. The latest pallet changer, PW3000, has a transport weight of 3000 kg and was developed for the automation of the large processing centres C50 and C60.

A large proportion of machines comes with robot systems in differing weight classes. The priority, Schorpp said, is always the customer-specific design. “Pallets, workpieces, grippers and auxiliary equipment, for example, can be changed and managed in one installation.”

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There are few limits on automation. Andreas Mootz, CEO of Emag Automation GmbH, explained: “We offer all automation levels, from simple automation solutions to complete automation.”

Adding automation to 95 % of all machines

He touted an impressive level of in-house automation. “Ninety-five per cent of all machines from Emag are delivered with automation.” As examples of machines with simple, flexible automation systems, he cited the VSC and VL vertical turning machine series. These are equipped with an automation system with a circulating chain into which drag-frames are inserted to enable the transport of workpieces in and out of the pick-up station. The vertical main spindle takes the workpiece up directly from the pick-up position.

“The major portion of the automation is thus transferred directly into the machine,” Mootz explained. “Using this principle, a faster, more space-saving, technically simpler and thus operationally safer and, at the same time, lower-cost workpiece change and transport can be carried out without any re-tooling work.” With just the help of adaptations in the NC program, a broad spectrum of parts can reportedly be automated.

The automation solutions from Emag can be put together from a building set of standardised modules. “Flexibility, however, irrespective of all the savings, is playing an ever greater role,” Mootz noted. “The demand is not so much for automation for particular parts, but rather for universal automation solutions, since often whole families and many workpiece variants can be produced on one machine.”