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Machine Tool Tending: Automating Manufacturing Processes

In today’s fast-paced manufacturing environment, companies are always looking for ways to increase efficiency and productivity while reducing costs. One way they are achieving this is through the use of machine tool tending automation. This process involves the automation of the loading and unloading of parts in a machine tool, which can lead to significant time and cost savings.

Machine tool tending is a type of material handling automation that is commonly used in the manufacturing industry. It involves the use of robots to handle the loading and unloading of parts in a machine tool, such as a lathe, mill, or drill press. The robot is programmed to perform specific tasks, such as picking up a part from a conveyor belt, placing it in the machine tool, and removing it once the operation is complete.

The benefits of machine tool tending are numerous. First and foremost, it allows for 24/7 operation of the machine tool, since the robot can operate continuously without the need for breaks. This can lead to significant increases in productivity and output. Additionally, machine tool tending can perform the same task consistently and accurately, and with the integration of gauging and/or visual inspection tools, will ensure quality is maintained from the first to the last part.

Another benefit of machine tool tending is the reduction in labor costs. Since the robot is performing the loading and unloading tasks, there is no need for a human operator to perform these tasks. This can lead to significant cost savings for the manufacturer. Additionally, machine tool tending can improve worker safety, as the robot can perform tasks that are dangerous or repetitive for humans.

There are several types of robots that can be used for machine tool tending, but at Automated Solutions Australia, we use FANUC range of robots for this task. These industry leading robots are best suited for machine tool tending applications. The payload and particular choice of the robot depends on a variety of factors, such as the size and weight of the parts being handled, the precision required for the task, and the available workspace.

When implementing machine tool tending, it is important to consider the entire manufacturing process. This includes not only the machine tool itself, but also the upstream and downstream processes, such as part inspection and packaging. By automating the entire process, manufacturers can achieve even greater time and cost savings.

In conclusion, machine tool tending is a powerful tool for maximizing the capacity and uptime of your machine shop. By allowing for continuous operation of the machine tool, improving product quality, reducing labor costs, and improving worker safety, machine tool tending can help manufacturers stay competitive in today’s fast-paced manufacturing environment. For more information on Machine Tool Tending, check out