Machine Tending Automation, things to look for

Many times when it comes to the automating procedure, knowing where to start can be an arduous task. Today, the market is afloat with a myriad of system unification companies providing ready-made kits for distinct applications.

What then happens if you want to develop your own custom cell or your application is dissimilar? It is important to understand that each robot, machine, application, and programming device is different. Below are tips to help you understand what to evaluate in machine tending.

Classified vs. Combined Part Ordering?

When universal robots require gripping a part, localization should be granted to the robot to allow it to correctly grab the part. Generally, there are two methods of structuring the parts requiring machining.

  • Classified Method

One can utilize the classified racking method. That is when the parts are exclusively classified enabling the robot to figure out the part position. This way, the part coordinates are easily programmable. If you choose to use this system, you need to sacrifice effort and time to effectively design the racking.

Assuming the parts entering the machine will not be changed often; one does not have to consider flexibility. However, if the parts require frequent changing to allow for the classification of a new part, the designing process can be a difficult task considering that robotic engineers will need to outline a universal racking capable of fitting all raw materials.

  • Vision Method

One can choose to order their raw material via vision. Whether they use a drawer, a bin, or a conveyor for part placing will be determined by the parts being machined. A vision method should be used together with the robot plan because the parts are positioned at an imprecise location. In order to determine the part location for easy picking, the system takes a photo.

In the event the system requires to be vigorous, the robot will precisely figure out the raw part location for picking whether it is moving or not. This will be easier if an encoder on the assembly line is matched with the vision system.

Perception End Effector Grasp Force, Shape, and Weight

Perception remains one of the most intricate concepts in the machine tending procedure. It involves the selection of a robot and an end effector. One should understand the type of parts that can be utilized in the cell. Establish whether the cell will be restricted to one product or the production will be due for alteration every so often.

This principle will determine your component’s size and whether to use a rigid or flexible cell. One can even utilize the Universal Robots two bearing gripper for long-lasting productions. A flexible gripper comes in handy for productions that are often altered.

Ensure that the gripper weight, the robot, and the grip force are applicable to your machine tending. If you want a rapid exchange of parts, then you can choose to have a double gripper. Remember, in order to have various setups for similar parts, your gripper should be capable of handling same parts with disparate characteristics.

Precision vs. Speed?

Many people associate machine tending with rapid production. However, rapid production can result in poor quality. Robot speed ought to be precise in every step. Often, perception operations are executed slowly which enables the gripper to grab the parts accurately and implement the right pressure on the same.

Movement outside and adjacent to the machine vise can be implemented with comparably rapid speed. The process of including parts in the vise should be executed with extra caution that is slow speed. Exercise caution to ensure that the par is inserted in the correct position. Inserting the part too fast can result in wrong positioning.  

The Vise

While the vise in the machine may appear to be simple, it is meticulous and modified to the parts being machined. Many vises come with a hydraulic or pneumatic system which keeps the parts grounded during the machining application.  


Similar to many robotic applications, you will need to execute some simulations prior to introducing a die-cast in the machine frame. Universal Robots has created software that is exclusive to machine tending applications. This allows users to minimize risk error and gives them a rapid launch time.

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