Industries around the world are turning to robotic machinery as they seek to reap the benefits of the fourth industrial revolution. Robotics make production processes more efficient, safer, and more cost-effective while reducing waste. Even facilities with existing automation technology can realize new benefits as robots become more intelligent and capable of handling multiple tasks.
Let’s take a closer look at the advantages robotic machinery can provide to your production facility.
Consistent High Quality Production
A guarantee of consistent quality is one of the most significant benefits offered by robotic machinery. Human operators may become tired or lose focus over the course of a shift, but robots will follow the same production orders repeatedly without variations in quality or accuracy.
Smarter, more integrated robots can also monitor the workpieces through the product cycle to check for errors and adjust their processes to compensate.
As robotic machinery continues to evolve, it takes on more tasks with less need for human intervention between each stage. For example, a completely automated process will move workpieces from one machine to another, properly place it for the next step, and inspect the finished piece for quality concerns.
CNC machinery and multi-purpose robots can produce goods using a variety of different tools and processes. Instead of having one robot that follows one unchanging set of directions per task, modern robotic machinery can fluidly change from one step to the next. Ultimately, robotics improve product quality by reducing defect rates and offering consistently reliable performance.
Decreased Production Costs
Robotic machine tending noticeably reduces production costs in two ways:
Per-unit efficiency. Robots reliably produce goods with fewer errors. More comprehensive robotic setups can remove any risk of human error entirely. This lowers the per-unit cost of a production run. Even better, machinery can process raw goods and workpieces more precisely, resulting in less waste and tighter material estimates.
Facility efficiency. Robots reduce the production costs of an overall facility. They can work 24/7 without flagging or pausing without incurring the same labor costs and overhead as human employees, such as health insurance, liability insurance, wages, and other costs. Facilities can increase production without increasing staff size, which in turn lowers administrative and HR costs.
Lights-out or dark factory manufacturing underlines this key benefit of robotic machine tending. Robots can operate without direct human oversight, so facilities can extend production hours through the night. Even better, the facilities don’t need to maintain the same conditions as human-operated facilities: the lights can be out, climate control can be adjusted to meet ideal production standards without catering to human comfort, and the facility has greater energy efficiency.
Many facilities, rather than operating on a continual lights-out basis, use the lights-out mentality between shifts so humans can reset the machine programs and move finished products off the factory floor. As robotic machinery continues to develop, these “lights-on” intervals will become increasingly unnecessary.
Multiple Specialized Machining Operations
As machinery becomes more complex and can learn larger sets of increasingly specialized skills, they can take on more tasks commonly reserved for skilled human employees. A complex robotic system can handle a variety of tasks, including:
Using advanced robotic machinery that can handle multiple tasks doesn’t just give production companies the ability to add more services to their lists of offerings. Single robotic stations that can handle multiple tasks help to optimize in-demand floor space in a production facility.
Companies that invest in multi-functional robotics will realize financial benefits both immediately and in the long run over the life of the robotic systems.
Limit Hazardous Environment Exposure For Human Workers
Liability poses one of the largest risks for any manufacturing operation—specifically, the risk of injury to human employees in dangerous environments. Field production sites can be hazardous, unpredictable, and may expose human workers to dangerous chemicals or other environmental factors. Even controlled environments such as warehouses and distribution centers pose a large risk for companies due to the risk of repetitive stress injuries and workplace accidents.
Robotic machinery works unimpeded in potentially dangerous environments. Reducing or eliminating manual labor at industrial worksites is a great way to reduce overall expenses, legal liability, and associated healthcare costs.
Robotic Machine Tending at Hogge Precision
Robotic machine tending isn’t just a niche development for highly specialized production centers. It’s an integral part of the fourth industrial revolution and an accessible improvement for every production facility. Investing in robotics can increase production quality, reduce expenses, increase manufacturing capabilities, and reduce the risk of employee injury.
Hogge Precision specializes in producing high-quality CNC and screw-machined products, as well as value-added services. We have more than 30 years of experience completing custom projects and manufacturing complex parts for industry. With the addition of robotic machine tending, we continue to build on our reputation for quality and service. Request a quote today to source parts for your next project or to learn more about our services and capabilities.
Multi-axis computer numerical control (CNC) machining employs advanced machining equipment and tooling that accommodates motion in four or more directions to facilitate the manufacture of precision parts with complex geometries. Compared to other machining techniques, the process offers greater manufacturing flexibility and tighter tolerances due to its ability to process multiple part sections with a single machine setup.
At Hogge Precision Parts, we offer a wide range of multi-axis machining services. Equipped with state-of-the-art CNC multi-axis turning centers and vertical and horizontal machining centers, our expert team has the tools needed to meet all of our customers’ machining needs.
When Should I Use Multi-Axis CNC Machining?
Multi-axis machining is a highly versatile manufacturing process suitable for use in a variety of industrial and commercial projects. It is particularly useful for the following machining needs:
1. Machined Parts with Medium to Complex Geometry
Some industries—such as aerospace, automotive, medical, mold and die, and oil and gas—employ parts and products with highly complex shapes, geometries, and surfaces. The manufacture of these components—e.g., impellers, turbines, and steering parts—necessitates the use of multi-axis machining as the process accommodates machining operations on 4-5 axes and can produce the highly specific part angles necessary.
2. Flexible Engineering Solutions
The versatility of the multi-axis machining process makes it well-suited for use in industries that require design flexibility, such as aerospace and mold and die manufacturing. In these industries, design engineers need to create parts and products to suit highly complex systems and applications. Multi-axis machining provides them with a manufacturing solution that can accommodate these more complicated designs.
3. Low-Volume, High-Mix Production
Many industries are turning away from large volume production orders to repeat orders of smaller quantities. Multi-axis CNC machining lends itself to this business practice as parts can be produced quickly to meet changing customer demand reducing the risk of excessive inventory.
4. High Precision, Accuracy, and/or Complexity Workpieces
The multi-axis machining process is ideal for industries that require high-precision, high-complexity parts, such as the aerospace, automotive, electronics, medical, and semiconductor industries. It can produce durable parts that meet high quality, accuracy, and performance standards. The use of computerized controls and tooling ensures that the parts produced fit the required specifications and remain consistent from one piece to the next and between batches.
5. Projects Requiring Reduced Lead Times and Improved Efficiency
Some machining projects have tighter time constraints or more thorough efficiency requirements than others. As the multi-axis CNC machining process can perform multiple operations with a single setup, it can significantly reduce downtime and improve overall lead time.
Benefits of Using Multi-Axis CNC Machining
Compared to other machining and manufacturing processes, the multi-axis CNC machining process offers a broad range of benefits, such as:
Faster manufacturing operations
Lower manual labor costs
Reduced material waste/usage
Greater precision, accuracy, and repeatability
Higher production efficiency
Broader part design and manufacturing flexibility
Capacity for continuous and mass production operations
Hogge Precision Parts Co., Inc. offers industry-leading CNC turning and milling services. Our fully equipped manufacturing facility allows our operators to meet tolerances as tight as ±.0005 inches. To learn more about our CNC turning and milling capabilities, see further details below. For more information about our other services, contact us today.
The use of a screw machine or automated lathe to machine small, turned parts for industrial applications has been standard for decades. Made of a hollow spindle and cams, a screw machine removes material from a block of metal to create multiple small parts.
Screw machines are used today to make parts for IT, automotive, and consumer electronics products. Because they are flexible and can handle most types of metals, screw machines have a wide range of uses.
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Types of Swiss Screw Machines
There are two main types of Swiss screw machines in use today.
Automatic Swiss screw machines use a disc cam to rotate tools toward the workpiece area, which is held in place with several spindle collets positioned side by side. Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machines use a CNC unit to control the tools, which allows parts to be made to exacting specifications. CNC Swiss screw machines, which are also known as CNC lathes, can work on multiple axes for fast results.
Screw machines, both automatic and CNC driven, can take some time to set up properly, but are cost effective when producing multiple parts. They are typically not an ideal solution for one-off prototyping. However, because of the wide variety of metals they work with, they are a flexible choice when creating parts from different types of metals.
Benefits of the CNC Swiss Machine
CNC machining offers a level of control that may not be possible with an automatic Swiss screw machine. The CNC unit permits the use of tools on multiple axes, allowing more sets of tooling for both turning and milling. Cycle times are reduced and more detailed parts can be created with the use of CNC abilities.
Many operations can be performed in a shorter period of time using a CNC Swiss machine. A CNC Swiss screw machine can rotate a part at up to 10,000 RPM with an accuracy level of 0.0002 to 0.0005 inches. In addition to being more precise, a CNC Swiss lathe reduces waste and gives more flexibility when machining a specific part.
Using Automatic and CNC Swiss Screw Machines
Both automatic and CNC Swiss screw machines cost effectively produce multiple small, turned parts for a variety of industries. Hogge Precision uses numerous Swiss-style turning lathes to create small diameter parts from most types of metal. We can run metal bar stock up to 12 ft. long and 1.25 in. in diameter and meet tolerances as tight as ±.0005 in.
Hogge Precision serves a wide range of industries including defense, energy, medical, power distribution, and other industrial applications. Parts we have successfully manufactured using swiss style screw-machining include brass, aluminum, and stainless steel components for IT and Electrical; brass and stainless steel components for Medical; and aluminum and stainless steel products for the Automotive industries.
We use a certified ISO quality management system to guarantee that our parts exceed your specifications. If you need parts created that are cost effective and delivered quickly, we will meet your requirements. Contact us today for all your swiss and screw machining needs.
March 19, 2020
Dear Valued Partners
In response to the COVID-19 situation in our country, we recognize that health and safety are paramount to our team, our customers, our suppliers, and to the community at large.
As is the case with many of you, we are taking several precautionary measures to ensure we continue to operate “business as usual” as follows:
We have implemented a plan internally that includes measures to help ensure the health and safety of our staff and associates.
For our contract customers, we are continuing to manufacture stock and maintain stock in our facility as usual.
Currently, our materials supply network has not been affected. We are monitoring this closely. We do have enough raw materials in stock to continue operations for several weeks, if not months in some cases.
All non-essential business travel has been suspended for at least 14 days. Also, at this time we will not allow visitors on the premises unless it is absolutely necessary.
We do not expect, based upon current available information, any impact in our ability to deliver product as usual. However, we recognize that our State and Federal Governments may issue mandates, and we will comply accordingly.
Please let us know if you have any questions or ways that we can be of service. We all look forward to getting back to the face-to-face interactions and relationships that we are all used to. In the meantime, please expect us to share news as it happens.