Space-savings, increased productivity – and additional benefits
Drabo B. V. is a metal processing industry supplier and, due to its modern machining facility, can produce complex parts to fulfill challenging customer requests.
The company was looking for a way to increase the production volumes of one of its existing Flexible Manufacturing Systems (FMS). The system consists of 4 machining centers that are interconnected with a multi-level system (MLS) from Fastems. Here, various workpieces are machined in large batches in a two-shift operation.
The MLS is working at full capacity. The factory’s spatial conditions did not allow for expanding the height or width of the system in order to stock additional machining pallets and clamping devices for the automated manufacturing process. Therefore, the company could not add further capacity over more than two shifts.
For Drabo B. V., this begged the question:
“How can we increase production volumes and create space for more blanks and ready parts?”
The solution: Connecting a tower storage system and a robot cell to the existing MLS for automatic loading and unloading of clamping devices, and robotic deburring of the workpieces.
Here’s how the automated solution works: The robot takes the blanks from the tower storage system and feeds them into the clamping device on the machining pallet. Once a workpiece has been machined in a BAZ, the robot takes on the task of deburring it before returning the part to the storage tower. Coordinating with the existing MLS, this automated solution allows for flexible, unmanned production over a time period of up to 60 hours.
The new robot cells and storage tower increased the capacity of the machine tools from about 5,000 to approximately 7,000 hours per year. With this automated solution, Drabo B. V. will save enough money to invest in more machining pallets and clamping devices for series production. What’s more, the company enjoys the additional benefit of the robot completing challenging deburring tasks.