The Machine Tending Education Cell is designed to showcase real world applications of robot tended CNC machinery. A machine tender is designed to take away the mundane load/unload tasks of an operator in a normal CNC machine shop. It has been designed to easily integrate with small to medium sized CNC machinery. Students will teach the robot pick and place locations and the air blow off path. All communication input/output is pre-configured and ready for integration to the CNC machine using M codes in the CNC program. Note that the CNC machine may require upgrades for the communication to the robot.
The “Safe Load” parts drawer is designed to keep hands away from the robot motion area while in use by the robot. The drawer being used by the robot is locked from the cell operator. This drawer cannot be opened without requesting the robot return the drawer.
New “fenceless” options are available and allow the student to program area scan safety technology as part of the integration.
Part blank location is done with a template-based part locator. The system above includes a template with cut outs for the standard NIMS mill block and included aluminum parts blanks. The template is made from 12 ga 304 stainless steel for low profile part locating and long life. New templates are easy to machine the appropriate part locating shapes into for future project-based machining operations. The robot is set up for the template by row count, column count, row pitch, and column pitch. The first pick and place point is the only position that the robot needs taught, all other positions are driven from the row and column count and pitch in a standard grid type pattern. Dimensional drawing is also provided of the template blank for creating more custom templates as the end user sees fit.
Although this equipment is considered level 3 advanced manufacturing, it can still be used to teach level 1 and level 2 concepts, making it a versatile and budget friendly purchase for any school looking to extend the depth of their FANUC training.
Our education equipment is not a “trainer”, it is the same advanced machinery a student would encounter upon graduation. The MTEC can be used to teach CNC programming concepts, integration of a robot and CNC, robot programming and tool handling, and maintenance troubleshooting. Our Project Based Curriculum will also teach students vital post-graduation skills like problem solving, reasoning, and critical thinking.