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Flexible Machine Tool Tending

ABB FlexLoader SC 3000 with IRB 2600 robot, twin doors and conveyor

ABB's FlexLoader SC 3000 and SC 6000 offer flexible machine tool tending. "These robotic solutions increase machine utilization by as much as 60%," said a company spokesperson.

FlexLoader SC 3000

Key characteristics of the FlexLoader SC 3000 include modularity, small footprint and ease of use. Modularity means users can customize the robot cell, for example workpieces can be loaded by conveyor or drawer. The two-door configuration enables two machining operations on each side, or a swivel door that provides extra-large access to a single processing machine. The FlexLoader SC 3000 comes complete with a fully integrated robot with a pre-programmed robot code for a short installation time.

Capable of handling both small batch and volume production, the FlexLoader SC 3000 comes equipped with a flexible three-finger gripper. For maximum cell utilization, post-processes such as deburring tools, regrip tables, marking units and air cleaning boxes can be added.

The FlexLoader SC 3000 utilizes FlexLoader Vision that is specifically designed for robot guidance and has a simple and intuitive workpiece teach-in process. The internal buffering system allows the machine to run free of operator supervision for hours, depending on the workpiece size and cycle time.

"When compared with manual labor, robotic automation increases the machine tool utilization up to 60%," said the spokesperson. "The nearly immediate returns-in some cases less than 12 months-are significant and tangible. The FlexLoader SC 3000 provides reliable and predictable output from the robot and machine tool. It facilitates higher machine tool utilization-up to 90% compared with traditional manual machine tools, which are in the range of 50%. This results in a much faster return on investment and gives a sustainable competitive advantage."

Included in FlexLoader SC 3000:

  • FlexLoader vision for machine tool tending
  • Calibration tools
  • IRB 1600 or IRB 2600 robot depending on the payload and reach
  • Conveyor belts or drawers
  • Twin doors or curved door.

FlexLoader SC 6000

The FlexLoader SC 6000 available in two variants, with the IRB 2600 robot (20 kg/1.65 m reach) and with the IRB 4600 robot (60 kg/2.05 m reach). Both come complete with a robot controller inside its fully integrated control cabinet.

Designed to load and unload machine tools using vision guided robotics, the integrated solution is capable of handling a variety of additional manufacturing operations such as marking, deburring and cleaning with air. The FlexLoader SC 6000 can run free of operator supervision for up to eight hours, depending on the part size and cycle time, due to an internal buffering system.

The FlexLoader SC 6000 is compatible with a wide range of machine tools, for example, horizontal and vertical lathes, machining centers and 5-axis machines and grinders. Its numerous interfaces can be hard-wired with 24V I/Os for easy communication with a machine tool.

Capable of handling both small batch and volume production, the FlexLoader SC 6000 comes equipped with a choice between a two- or three-finger gripper and six standard plug & play options, including two separate deburring tools, a re-grip table, marking unit, turn station, air cleaning box and a corridor/passage.

The FlexLoader SC 6000's built-in vision system is specifically designed for robot guidance. Control and communications with the robot are tightly integrated into the software; a complete teach-in is simple and intuitive from beginning to end. The teaching of a new part is possible in less than 10 minutes.

With the aid of vision-guided robotics, the FlexLoader SC 6000 becomes even more flexible: it is able to recognize variations in part size and varying geometrical shapes. Additionally, the parts do not need to be fixed in a particular position to be identified, picked up and placed by the robot, which reduces costs and complexity.

Included with the FlexLoader SC 6000:

  • FlexLoader vision for machine tool tending
  • Calibration tools
  • IRB 2600 or IRB 4600 robot depending on the payload and reach
  • Standard options for pre- and post-processes.

For more information contact:

ABB Robotics, Inc.

1250 Brown Road

Auburn Hills, MI 48326


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