How to Improve the Productivity of CNC Machines with Robots
CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control. CNC machines are a type of electromechanical devices. CNC machines are used to control and manipulate the machine shop-floor tools with the help of computer programming. CNC machines are programmed in such a manner that they can send digital instructions to the cutting tools on what to do. A CNC machine’s primary function is to take a certain amount of raw materials and convert them into a finished product. Because of robust programming, CNC machines can work faster and more efficiently and avoid manual operations errors.
Factors Leading to Production Losses in CNC Machines
After a certain point, every machine begins to face some issues due to various situations. Even after being robust and highly-efficient, CNC machines too can face production losses because of multiple factors. Like all other machines, CNC machines also need constant maintenance and monitoring. Some of the factors that lead to the production losses in CNC machines are:
Downtime is the duration for which your CNC machine is not working. Downtime can be planned or unplanned.
Planned Downtime includes losses during start-up and shut-down, planned maintenance, scheduled cleaning, rest breaks, changeover, training, meetings, etc. Planned downtime is usually unavoidable, but it can be optimized to ensure the minimum losses.
Unplanned downtime can occur due to equipment failure, equipment setup and adjustment, tool replacement, defects or rework losses, shutdown losses, etc.
Speed reduction is another significant productivity loss for the CNC machines. Speed of the CNC machines can be reduced because of multiple reasons like brief and frequent stops because of errors, part failure, incorrect feed, jams, wrong positioning, etc. A flow of operation is disrupted, which leads to the reduction of speed in a CNC machine.
Lack of Maintenance
Like every other machine, CNC machines also need to be lubricated and cleaned at regular intervals. Lack of maintenance can affect the quality of the output. CNC machines can get less productive if they are not appropriately maintained. There could be buildups of dirt and debris that can affect CNC machines’ performance if not cleaned regularly.
Integrating CNC Machines with Robots
For ensuring high productivity and efficiency, many industries are gradually opting for CNC robotics integrated solutions. CNC machines are specialized machines, and they require highly skilled machine operators to handle them. In the present scenario, it is challenging for the companies to find qualified and experienced employees that can properly operate and maintain the CNC machines.
In such a scenario, robotics automation of CNC machines brings excellent benefits to the industries. Robots are programmed to be highly specialized, precise, and specific, and therefore, they can operate the CNC machines better than humans.
For integrating the CNC machines with robots, different applications, requirements, and tasks need to be considered. The applications that can be benefited from the CNC Machines-robot integrations are:
- Machine Tending
These are only some examples of the applications that can be made more efficient by integrating CNC machines and robots. Multiple applications are tiring and unsafe for human workers to perform. Integrating CNC machines with robots helps automate the operations, simplify the tasks, increase productivity, and create a safer working space for employees.
Most of the automation and robotics companies have their integration software through which CNC machines can be easily integrated with robots.
How Robots Can Help in Increasing Productivity
Companies adapt to automation and robots more quickly because robots are reliable, efficient, and flexible. The applications of robots in the standard tasks of industries can bring drastic changes. The benefits include increasing the productivity of CNC machines. With the help of robots, the productivity of CNC machines can be improved. Robots are ideal for performing repetitive tasks, and when integrated with CNC machines, they can boost the quality of the output and overall productivity.
Here are some of the benefits of integrating robots with CNC machines:
- Robots perform the tasks in a standard way and therefore maintain consistency and quality.
- With robots’ help, CNC machines can produce larger quantities of product in a shorter time.
- Robots help improve the working unit’s safety conditions for employees by performing complicated and demanding tasks.
- Less number of people are needed for monitoring CNC machines when they are integrated with the robots. In situations where 3 to 4 people were required to monitor the CNC machines, only a single person can easily monitor them after automation.
- Robots also help speed up the production process of CNC machines.
- Robots and automation help reduce production losses by 25%; Automation saves the shop owner from procuring new machines every year and therefore saves expenses.
Bringing together CNC machines and automation is like bringing the best of both worlds. In recent times, robots have proved their importance in various industries and applications. Robots are more efficient and productive, but they are also a very reliable tool for business owners. Robots can bring drastic changes in productivity. Reduction of production cost and improved productivity has led to industrial robots and automation’s tremendous growth in the last few years. Robots are slowly becoming an integral part of many industries such as general manufacturing, automotive, food processing, pharmaceutical, metal and machining, agriculture equipment manufacturing industries, etc. It’s beneficial for the business owner to integrate the CNC machines with robots to increase the CNC machines’ durability and receive long-term advantages.