What parts do you need to feed?

In the 80s, 80%-90% of the robots have been installed within a cluster of manufacturing industries referred to as the metalworking sector. To date, robots installations in the metalworking industry accounts for 16% that ranks the industry as the 3rd biggest market with 50’000 new robots installed in 2018.

Historically, only large organizations have deployed robots: among the reasons behind there is a high initial capital investment and the time and expertise required for the robot installation. Both factors have resulted in a low adoption rate by SME manufacturers, which account for almost 70% of manufacturers globally.




This is changing as the total cost of ownership of the robots falls. Falling prices, improvements in vision systems, end of the arm tooling, material handling technologies and artificial intelligence are leading to a growing market for collaborative robots. Collaborative application contrast with traditional industrial robots applications in which they are housed in cages. They can work safely alongside humans due to the speed and force limitations and the sensors and software they are embedded with. In addition to safety benefits, cobots are easy to use and train even for workers with no prior experiences of using this technology.

Parts feeding stands out among the most successful robots applications in the metalworking sector. Robotic machine tending is typically used for the infeed and outfeed parts in the applications below:

• Grinding
• Milling and turning
• Injection molds
• Stamping, punching, trimming and forging
• Compression molds
• Welding

The task performed by the robot in each of these specific processes varies even considerably, but the parts’ infeed and outfeed is what they all have in common.

Greater flexibility and increased machine uptime are among the benefits gained when applying a robotic machine tending solution. Unattended long period of functioning, reduced danger and injuries for the workforce and greater machine functioning time lead the way to manufacturing risks reduction, higher productivity and throughput raise.

Moreover robotic machine tending introduces more accuracy and repeatability in infeed and outfeed operations. Increased parts’ quality, reduced machine failures and downtime and minimized wastes in scraps and time are the reason behind a gross operating margin increase.

Overall robotic machine tending delivers productivity.



What advantages does the FlexiBowl solution bring in for machine tending applications?

FlexiBowl is a standardized vision and robotic based equipment that be used for feeding parts in the metalworking industry. Parts ranging 1-250 mm and 1-250 mm no matter their geometry and material can be handled. The high payload, up to 7 kg, and the robust and reliable mechanical design make the FlexiBowl a perfect match for robotic applications in the metalworking industry.

How does a FlexiBowl cope with dirty and oily parts?

An oil channel can applied optionally to dry the Flexibowl up of working fluids left on the parts during upstream processes. A special configuration with remote control box secures the inside electronics from being affected by metal powder and chips resulting from machining manufacturing processes. The rotary discs can be switched over rapidly thanks to the quick changeover mechanism that minimizes downtime during maintenance operations.

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