Benefits of machining with Industrial Robots vs CNC Machines
Identifying the benefits of using industrial robots vs CNC Machines can be a very costly decision. Let us explain the key benefits of Industrial robots for machining and manufacturing applications.
CNC Robotics is pioneering the use of industrial robots as an alternative to CNC machines. Firstly, we’ve been providing cost-effective machining solutions for over 10 years. Secondly, a robotic system provides a competitive advantage vs traditional CNC machines. For example, the head is rotational and therefore able to point in the direction it needs to go. As a result, our system is more agile and also flexible than a CNC machine.
Many of the machining systems designed and also manufactured by CNC Robotics are used to manufacture large components. Furthermore, it can be mounted onto a linear track for increased flexibility.
The combination enables manufacturers to create tool-paths directly from CAD models, as well as options to simulate and optimise the program on the computer, therefore reducing set-up time. As a result, this ensures they operate efficiently and safely, whilst giving the desired productivity across all types of manufacturing.
The ability to easily program for a variety of parts, to be able to add in new parts over time and to efficiently implement part changeovers is key to the robot’s production flexibility. Changeovers between parts in a robot machining system can typically be implemented in about a quarter of the time it takes to changeover a CNC machine.
The ability to use a variety of tools on the same robot is another type of flexibility that can be provided. This can be more traditional with a variety of cutting tools being available to an automatic tool change routing spindle, or more advanced.
Flexibility is also delivered through having a wider range of motion with a 6-axis robot arm, providing the ability to process a wide range of part sizes, including taller parts.
Or there is the option of adding a Gudel track (seen in video) to create a 7th axis that vastly increases the robots working area.
And the ultimate flexibility also exists: if the need for the robot in its current process goes away, then the robot can be retooled and redeployed doing a totally different process, protecting your investment.
A key attribute of productivity is the cycle time achievable per part. The process used to cut the part primarily governs the cutting speed, so CNC machines and robotic trimming typically will not vary significantly in cut time, but the robot can implement faster tool changes and Tool Center Point (TCP) calibrations.
The ability of the robot to reach all around the part, including from underneath the part, can impact the number of set-ups required to trim a part. Customers that have eliminated steps in the set-up required on a CNC machine to process the underside of the part and save the cost of a second part fixture.
Robots deliver repeatable processes with consistent results. They don’t get distracted and they can be programmed to insure that the right features get trimmed into every part.
Reliable and repeatable processes lead to better control of the manufacturing critical path, predictability and reductions in manufacturing time, and more consistent high product quality.
Flexible robotic trimming, implemented effectively, can offer your company the opportunity to improve process throughput, have more reliable and repeatable processes, improve product quality and consistency, remove your employees from potentially hazardous jobs and increase cost competitiveness.