The plug-and-play automation unit, which communicates with the machining centre via a Profibus interface, is supplied with a 6-axis ABB robot and the robot manufacturer’s smart teach pendant incorporating a customised Speedio page. Extended periods of unattended and overnight running are possible, enabling manufacturers to make the most of their investment in the machining centre in the knowledge that the automation has been designed specifically for it and is not a generic solution provided by a third party.

Having a handling capacity of 10 or 20 kg, the robot can be equipped with standard interchangeable grippers with two or three fingers, or an adjustable double gripper, all with an air blow nozzle, if required. A camera vision system and built-in PC allow the robot to detect where on the upper inlet conveyor a workpiece has been placed. After machining, components are returned to an output conveyor positioned below the first.

Accessibility to the machine from the front is maintained by positioning the automation unit to the side, a configuration that allows it to serve two Speedios. Options include a static station for regripping a component, a turn-around station, and equipment for deburring, washing, air cleaning and part marking.