Robotic Machine Tending
In the manufacturing sector, industry professionals are increasingly deploying robots to improve productivity without raising labor costs. Currently, one of the most popular applications for robots is machine tending—i.e., loading and/or unloading a machine with materials and parts as needed. They can accommodate a variety of manufacturing equipment, including CNC machines, injection molding machines, presses, and shears.
While the majority of machine tending operations are still performed by humans, more companies are turning to robots for these applications as the supply of qualified workers diminishes. Robotic machine tending operations also offer a number of advantages—such as consistent production rates, safer worker conditions, and longer production run capacities—all of which further increase their appeal as a manufacturing solution.
What Is Robot Machine Tending?
Machine tending refers to the process of loading raw materials into and/or unloading machined parts from a machine. For a human operator, these operations can be repetitive and monotonous and draw them away from more constructive work. Using a robot for machine tending frees up human workers, enabling them to contribute to more skill-based tasks.
Advantages of Robot Machine Tending
In addition to relieving workers of tedious and time-consuming tasks, robots used in machine tending operations offer a variety of other advantages, such as:
- Broader operating capabilities. Robots can provide more than basic material handling; they also offer more complex manipulation and transportation capabilities. All of these operations can be set up, initiated, and performed quickly.
- Longer production capacities. Unlike human operators, robots can perform operations continually without tiring or requiring breaks (given a continuous supply of raw material and uninterrupted machine operation).
- Higher accuracy and quality. The use of robots over human workers minimizes the risk of human error, ensuring even highly customized parts are constructed accurately and consistently. This process characteristic allows manufacturers to produce higher quality parts.
- Safer working conditions. As robots reduce the need for human workers to interact with potentially dangerous machines, they mitigate the risk of injury to life and limb.
- Smaller space requirements. Robots are available with a variety of mounting options, which help reduce the amount of floor space—and related overhead costs—required.
How Hogge Precision Utilizes Machine Tending Robots
At Hogge Precision, we utilize robotic machine tending to increase production, ensure quality products, and reduce manufacturing costs for our customers. Our automated machining cells feature force-sensitive robots with 6-axis articulation. They have a maximum reach of 66.9 inches and a payload of 22 pounds. With that kind of flexibility, we can handle your most demanding parts.
If you want to learn more about robots and the role they play in our manufacturing process here at Hogge Precision, contact us today.