Optimizing machine tools through automation

Robot-based automation gives the productivity of your machine tools a decisive boost. This will enable you to offer short delivery times. Your production process will be profitable and efficient - even for highly complex components.

By automating your machine tools, you will always keep pace with the increasingly demanding quality requirements on the workpieces being machined. You can also perform downstream tasks, such as assembly. At the same time, you remain flexible with regard to the ever decreasing intervals between technical modifications.

Increased productivity will help you to counter the steady fall in prices effectively. Without having to compromise on quality. KUKA robots provide consistently high precision, allowing even the tightest of delivery deadlines to be met with ease.

The KUKA KR QUANTEC handling pallets at a machine tool.

Machine tools and robots: the most common applications

  • Palletizing workpieces:
    Robots can be used to load standardized containers with a wide range of workpieces down to a batch size of one.
  • Linking machines:
    Robots can be used to link several work steps. Either for loading multiple machines from one source or for feeding workpieces to a machine from various sources.
  • Machining workpieces:
    Robots can take on simple processing steps from the machine tool, thus increasing the productivity of the machine. Moreover, human operators are relieved of machining steps such as brushing and deburring and can therefore focus on more demanding tasks.
  • Handling tools:
    Robots can be used to change tools on the machine directly or with the aid of an internal tool changer. The number of available tools is only limited by the reach of the robot. Linear units can be used to increase the reach of the robot as desired so that one robot can tend multiple machine tools.

CNC and the robot system – run entirely by SINUMERIK

Robots can be integrated into production processes seamlessly thanks to the central user interface of the KUKA robot.

Increasing the efficiency of machine tools

Using KUKA robots to save time

Where the accuracy of the machine tool is not required, the robot takes over tasks such as drilling, brushing and deburring. This reduces the spindle run time per part. In KUKA’s own production operations, this cuts the machining time per component from 48 to 40 minutes. That corresponds to a 20 percent increase in machine productivity. On components requiring intensive machining, the robot can also carry out roughing, leaving the machine to take care of the smoothing alone.

50 percent higher throughput due to 24-hour operation

Where productivity is concerned, every second counts. KUKA robots enable you to fully exploit the potential of your machine tools day and night. In KUKA’s own production, a robot extends the operating time of a machining center from 16 hours a day to 24 hours without extra manpower. That corresponds to a 50 percent increase in productivity.

Simple understanding between humans and robots

KUKA robots are particularly easy to operate thanks to their universal, user-friendly interface. Through its interaction with the Sinumerik Run MyRobot software package from Siemens®, KUKA.PLC mxAutomation makes it possible to display the KUKA robot on machine tools in the same familiar system. Operating, programming and set-up procedures are also exactly the same as the user is accustomed to. These activities are carried out via a control panel on the machine tool.

KUKA robots for use in combination with machine tools

  • KR AGILUS:
    The small robot series with unparalleled performance at the highest of speeds.
    Also available as a waterproof variant:
    • Protection rating IP 67
    • High-gloss paint finish
    • Stainless steel covers on the second and third axes.
    • Can also be installed on the ceiling or wall.
The KR AGILUS waterproof can be used in wet environments without encountering any issues.
  • KR CYBERTECH nano series:
    Precise, compact, flexible and installed in the smallest of spaces, the KR CYBERTECH nano is ideal for machine tool applications. 
  • KR CYBERTECH series:
    The KR CYBERTECH saves valuable space and reaches any point due to its minimized disruptive contour and streamlined design, even in confined spaces. It can nevertheless move payloads of up to 22 kilograms, significantly more than the previous series.
  • KR 30-3 and 60-3 series:
    The robots of the KR 30-3 and 60-3 series master a pose repeatability of plus/minus 0.08 millimeters. Precision handling of even heavy workpieces is thus no problem.
  • KR QUANTEC series:
    The KR QUANTEC series stands out for its maximum dynamism, extreme stiffness and excellent performance as well as its low weight and streamlined design.
  • KR QUANTEC K series:
    KUKA shelf-mounted robots are designed for an especially large downward reach. They optimally access the workspace from above.
  • KR FORTEC:
    The heavy-duty robot masters payloads of up to 600 kilograms and a pose repeatability of plus/minus 0.08 millimeters.
Many KUKA robots are suitable for machine tool applications.

The virtual protected space: more space for your success

KUKA robots monitor their workspace by means of safe software. This means that they can also be operated in confined spaces, for example under craneways or in facilities with low ceilings.
The KUKA robot adheres exactly to the height restriction.

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