Turn-mill features internal robot

At MACH 2022 last month, the Okuma Spaceturn LB3000 EX II turn-milling centre made its first appearance in the UK equipped with the Japanese manufacturer’s Armroid robotic arm, the first in the world to be integrated inside a CNC machine tool. All Okuma machines are sold and serviced exclusively in the UK and Ireland by NCMT.

Three different end-of-arm effector options are available for the robot, capable of performing different tasks. One is for blasting the cutting zone with a mixture of air and coolant to improve chip management. Another provides additional support during the cutting process to prevent chatter. In combination with a workpiece stocker, the third effector is a two-finger gripper for holding shaft-type workpieces weighing up to 5 kg and then automatically loading and unloading them. All three end-of-arm effectors are stored within the machine and are changed automatically by the robot.

While most conventional robotic systems require complex integration and special training for staff, Armroid needs neither. As the robot is part of the machine tool, separate system integration is unnecessary. Using Okuma’s own OSP-P300A control, an operator enters the co-ordinates for the start and finish points before the robot moves through its motions, the cycle generating automatically to avoid collisions. Roid Navi software simplifies programming using images and on-screen guides.

There exists a longer, more powerful Armroid that can be integrated into larger Okuma multi-tasking lathes. The robot arm handles workpieces up to 10 kg and possesses a fourth type of end effector with a three-jaw gripper for holding billets around their end faces. Armroid systems are suitable for high mix, small batch work. The extended periods of unattended running free the operator to carry out duties in other parts of the factory.

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