How Standard Machine Tending Works - Midwest Engineered Systems

While there is a complexity of benefits that can be had from the MWES machine tending system, the manner in which it works is quite simple.

At its core is a standard robotic arm coupled to a machine vision system. These two are affixed to a rugged, self-contained structure that features expansion bays that could be filled with off-machine operations.

Working in tandem with the robotic arm, the machine vision system is trained to recognize and identify specific workpieces, their location and attitude. Once the part is acquired by the vision system, the information is sent to the robotic arm. The arm uses that data to properly grip the part for placement into the machine.

After the machining process is complete, the robot retrieves the part. At this stage, the MWES machine tending cell can be outfitted with a number of off-machine operations including blowing off the part, deburring or inspection. These extra operations can be other stations within reach of the arm or fitted directly to the machine tending systems structure.

abb robot machine tending

The part can also be re-gripped by the arm at this stage and replaced into the machine tool for further operations in areas that would have been impossible to access in the introductory placement. Once complete, the part can be again run through the off-machine processes or simply placed on an outfeed conveyor, destined for other production steps.

The entire system is built on a style of programming that allows for easier adaptation. This style of machine programming allows for the changing of part features without the need to completely reprogram the machine. Not only does this style make it easier to integrate the machine vision components, but it also allows for the addition of new workpieces by simply copying and modifying machine recipes for sufficiently similar parts. The modifications, most times, can be done by machine operators through the system’s touchscreen. For completely different parts, it may be necessary to retain more specialized services to teach the system.

While this is a quick overview of the MWES machine tending system’s components and operation if you have more in-depth questions or would like to talk to a sales engineer to see if the system could be right for your operation, contact us today.

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