The automation unit for the lathe includes six main components in sum. A palletizer, designed for different types of foam pallets, feeds the pallets with the blanks, positions the pallets in the working position and removes the pallets after machining the workpieces. For loading and unloading the palletizer is equipped with two transport trolleys. Each trolley can stock up to a stack of ten pallets. Loading and unloading the palletizer with pallets is done without interrupting the actual automation process.
A 6-axis robot with a double gripper unit is integrated in the system to grip the raw parts (different types, sorted into pallets) from the pallet via SKIP function and brings them to one of the two alignment stations. The raw parts are brought into the desired processing position either purely mechanically or with the help of a camera system at these stations. The correct position is actuated and the corresponding data is transmitted to the lathes. Now the lathe is loaded with the raw parts and the finished machined parts are unloaded. For this purpose, the slide on the lathe opens and the turret moves with a finished part into the loading or unloading position. The robot removes a finished part from the turret gripper and loads the turret gripper with a new blank. After this, the turret moves into the working position, the slide closes again and the machining can start.
Now the 6-axis robot brings the finished part to the cleaning station, which is located very close to the loading and unloading position of the lathe, in order to avoid extensive contamination of the automation unit by entrained coolant and chips. Before loading the cleaning station, the workpiece is axially aligned on a plate. The cleaning station is completely enclosed and accessible via flaps. In this station, the finished part is cleaned now by compressed air with closed flaps. All necessary process data (position, time etc.) can be retrieved via the type data of the workpiece. The coolant, which is used in the cleaning station, is treated accordingly and returned to the lathe. In the set-up mode for the cleaning station, the operator has the possibility to activate individual steps, to observe the cleaning process and to optimize it accordingly.
In an optical measuring station, which is also integrated in the automation unit, the finished parts are 100% inspected after cleaning. The measuring data determined here are passed on to a superordinate computer. The actual deviation from target goals are determined and sent back to the automation unit. This unit passes the data on to the lathe. The finished parts (NOK/rework/PLC) are now ejected to the corresponding belts. A finished part defined as good is placed back in a pallet by 6-axis robots in exchange for a blank.