Industrial Robots
Pioneering the use of industrial robots as an alternative to traditional CNC machines

Why use Industrial Robots rather than CNC Machines?

CNC Robotics are pioneering the use of industrial robots as an alternative to CNC machines. We have been providing cost-effective machining solutions for over 10 years. A CNC robotic system offers manufacturers a competitive advantage over and above a traditional CNC machine. For example, the head of a CNC industrial robot is rotational and therefore able to point in the direction it needs to go. As a result a CNC Robotics system is more agile and flexible than a CNC machine. 

Many of the robotic machining systems designed and manufactured by CNC Robotics are used to manufacture large components. Also the industrial robot can be mounted onto a linear track for increased flexibility this set up is not unusual in today’s fast-moving automation environment and offers even more advantages over a traditional CNC machine.

The combination of an industrial robot and software enables manufactures to create toolpaths directly from CAD models, together with options to simulate and optimise the program on the computer, therefore reducing set up time. These options help to ensure that the industrial robot will operate efficiently and safely whilst giving the desired productivity across all types of manufacturing.

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Frequently asked questions

At CNC Robotics, when we provide an integrated robotic system (also called a robotic cell), we typically install a robot and its associated controller, CAD/CAM software, a spindle and tools with a tool holder station, and a bespoke control cabinet that controls the motion of the robot and spindle, including all the required safety functions, plus application-specific ancillary equipment, which could include 7th and 8th axis facilities, rotary tables, linear tracks, force sensors, and vision systems, etc.

Where specialised actions are required, in the form of grippers, manipulators, etc., we have our own in-house design team who can meet your project’s specific needs. Our team is passionate about pushing the boundaries of what robots can do and like nothing more than a challenge. After installation, we train relevant staff, upskilling workers to help them to generate the maximum benefit from the system.

Each of our systems is designed to the bespoke requirements of our clients, so costs vary depending upon the application and final specification. On average our robotic milling systems cost about 50% less than traditional CNC machines capable of producing a similar size of component. They are, therefore, a flexible, cost-effective way to increase productivity, especially with larger parts.

At the start of any new project, we will meet with you to understand your requirements and advise whether a robot could provide a solution. If you want us to take it to the next stage, we will charge a nominal flat-rate fee to undertake a feasibility study and undertake some initial R&D. Thereafter, we will provide you with a detailed specification and quote for the proposed solution.

Depending upon the application, robot manufacturers state a repeatability of +/-0.06mm.

For machining applications, we typically see a tolerance in the order +/-0.2mm depending upon application, although we have achieved accuracy of +/- 0.05mm with one process.

CNC Robotics has installed robots rather than CNC machine tools for a variety of applications in many industries. These successful installations show that robots can provide a more cost-effective solution than CNC machines in cases where the workpiece is large, where it made of soft material and when the final shape is complex. In addition, robotic systems are often more tolerant of extreme environments than machine tools, for example, high or low temperatures, and atmospheric contamination.

Robots cannot match the accuracy of high-end machine tools, even though their accuracy is continually improving. However, in the majority of applications such fine tolerances are not required, and the repeatability and accuracy of a robot system is more than sufficient. While robots do not have sufficient rigidity to machine harder materials such as titanium or steel, they can process softer metals as well as plastics, composites, foams or wood.

With suitable CADCAM software, it is just as easy to program machining with a robot as it is to program a five-axis machine tool. Similar benefits are available when programming robots, including options to compare alternative machining strategies, to simulate the process on the computer and so avoid collisions, and to estimate the machining time that will be required.

The Multi3 system from CNC Robotics is specifically designed for smaller manufacturers who don’t want a bespoke system or who do minimum batch sizes. These robotic cells are pre-programmed to do one singular function – such as trimming or drilling – and are ready to simply plug in and operate.

The Multi3 system is compact, operator friendly and easy to integrate with existing workshop processes. It is also a modular and scalable solution, allowing multiple Multi3 systems to be joined together to create a mini production line. In this way, the automated system can expand as your business or project grows.

Each solution differs in specification, research and design and therefore timeframes will vary.

Typically, we use a 6-stage process that takes on average 12 weeks, depending on the application, and covers:

  • Feasibility consultation
  • Initial R&D proposal
  • Design
  • Build and test
  • Installation
  • Training

At CNC Robotics, one of our key priorities is to ensure that all our clients are educated and empowered enough to take their robot machining cell and utilise it to its full capabilities.

Like the installation of any new process, using a robot for the first time can sometimes appear to be a daunting task. However, with the correct training and support from CNCR as standard, the programming and operation will soon become second nature.

It is important that these skills are acquired not just for the immediate project goals but also for the long term programming and running of new parts as they develop. Our expert team are on hand to ensure that any queries your team have, are answered promptly.

Our annual service and maintenance contract offers complete peace of mind. We schedule regular services and monitor the system to ensure that preventative maintenance is undertaken to avoid any unexpected errors and delays.

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