Cobot cell

Mills CNC, through its recently-created Automation Division, has supplied precision engineering specialist Cambridge Precision Ltd (CPL) with a Doosan collaborative robot (cobot).

The Doosan M0617 cobot, equipped with ONRobot electrically-driven two-finger parallel grippers and Schunk vices, has been installed at the company’s facility in St Neots, where it has been integrated with a Doosan DNM 6700 vertical machining centre to create an automated manufacturing cell. Since commissioning, the cell has been programmed to handle more than 20 different projects, and the company estimates that, from a standing start two months ago, over 5000 prismatic parts have been manufactured.
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Automation futureproofs business at Unitrunk

A UK specialist in the design and manufacture of cable management solutions has invested in shop-floor automation as it looks to capture further market share and spur even more growth. Unitrunk, which is based in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, says recent investments in automated Amada technology are saving time and introducing greater levels of flexibility at this progressive and ambitious engineering business.

“Our growth over the past decade has been driven through production efficiency on the shop floor, as well as manufacturing automation, without any increase in additional labour,” states process engineer Mark Cartmill.
A recent case in point is the installation of the Amada CS stockyard automation system, linked to two Amada EM series punch presses (one existing and one new) that are fed by LIII loaders and unloaded by TK-3015R part picker/removal units.
“Previously we had stand-alone punch presses with Amada MP load/unload systems, but with the CS stockyard we now have no waiting for material to arrive or leave,” says Cartmill. “In addition, we can process a much wider range of material without any manual intervention whatsoever.”
The system offers full unmanned production, easy stock management, part picking/stacking and, with the addition of the new Amada EM-3612ZR T punch press, full automated tool selection in approximately 10 seconds (in hidden time while the sheet is running), providing high levels of flexibility.
Unitrunk completed a thorough review process, assessing a number of stockyard automation systems before opting for the Amada CS from a final shortlist of two. The company is currently in the process of writing upwards of 15,000 programs for the new system, but is hopeful this task will be complete within 12 months.
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High-pressure waterjet deburring

Ecoclean has introduced EcoCvelox, which offers high-pressure waterjet deburring combined with low-pressure cleaning processes, in a one-piece flow system.

Process-reliably and repeatable quality when it comes to deburred and cleaned parts are crucial for the success of subsequent processes such as bonding, sealing and assembly, as well as for perfect product function. With the completely new system concept EcoCvelox, Ecoclean introduces a flexible, modular solution for cost-efficient, high-pressure waterjet deburring and cleaning in a single procedure.
The process-dependent, configurable and expandable machine with integrated linear transport system enables the processing of parts with dimensions up to 200 x 200 x 200 mm in cycle times of only 15 seconds per palette. An integrated CADCAM interface allows for quick and easy programming of the high-pressure deburring process, either with a single spindle or a high-pressure turret featuring up to five tools.
In combination with a system for parts handling, process operations for new workpieces can be implemented in short timeframes, says the company. Component cleaning and drying can be carried out by means of injection flood washing, spraying, controlled rinsing and ultrasound, as well as high-speed blowing and vacuum drying. Furthermore, the system can be loaded automatically with a robot or portal system, as well as manually.
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Coupling suits laser cutters

CadCam Technology, which provides laser cutting machines to the automotive, medical, military and education sectors, ensures the precision of its machines by using Huco Flex M couplings.

Thin-pressed, heat-treated steel membranes allow the Flex M to help tolerate and compensate for any slight misalignment, with torque resolved to simple tensile stresses in opposing segments of the membranes. In the double-stage version specified by CadCam Technology, the two membranes provide even greater misalignment capacity, which effectively insulates the laser element from any transmitted stresses the shaft may produce, maintaining a precise cut during operation.
This capability is highly advantageous, as the Huco coupling enables the accuracy of the X axis (the axis on which the laser moves) to be maintained by its action on the driveshaft. As a result, machine accuracy is kept to within 0.025 mm.
Huco’s Flex M coupling sees use on CadCam Technology’s certified Class 1 machines, which use water or air-cooled CO2 lasers. Software controls the adjustment of both cutting speed and laser power output, which results in a fine, accurate depth of cut. In addition, closed-loop servo motors and hardened steel rails combine to provide precision movements with up to 2G of acceleration.
High-speed operation is supported by the Flex M’s dynamically balanced construction, which delivers a maximum speed of up to 5,000 rpm. Torque range extends from 0.9 to 11.3 Nm. In addition, the coupling’s kinematic properties and its low bearing loads ensure that it places minimal stress on associated components and assemblies, safeguarding overall service life of the machine. These characteristics mean the Flex M is suitable for dynamic position and velocity control systems, making it a popular choice in precision applications across the engineering spectrum.
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ITI success

Seco’s recent ‘Inspiration through Innovation’ manufacturing best-practice event, which focused exclusively on the aerospace sector, attracted a total of 747 visitors over the two days.

Says Mike Fleming, Seco’s strategic marketing, products and services manager: “Over 22% of visitors were from outside the UK. We welcomed people from as far afield as China, South Korea, Australia, India and the US, as well as from mainland Europe. We deliberately targeted this year’s event at key decision makers in aerospace component manufacturing companies.
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