Storage and handling system for automated prismatic machining

New from machine tool company DMG Mori is the PH Cell 500, a modular system for handling machine pallets carrying one or more fixtured components into and out of the working area of various models in the manufacturer's monoBLOCK machining centre range.

They are the DMU 65 and DMU 75 second-generation, vertical-spindle machines as well as the DMU 65 H horizontal-spindle model. Maximum transfer weight including the pallet is 500 kg.

The compact storage and retrieval system offers similar advantages to those of the larger PH Cell 800 for handling loads weighing up to 800 kg. Depending on the configuration of the rack modules, the PH Cell 500 has space for up to 32 pallets. Maximum workpiece dimensions are 500 x 500 x 750mm.

As part of its Machining Transformation drive, DMG Mori for many years has been developing and introducing customisable handling systems for automatically storing, loading and unloading components into the working area of its machine tools, either fixtured on pallets or directly as individual workpieces. Such configurations enable flexible, efficient production, even of small batches and one-offs.

In practice, the PH Cell 500 can increase productivity by up to 300% and reduce unit production costs by as much as 50% by rapidly presenting parts to the spindle.

The new cell is supplied as standard with a single storage module equipped with three shelves having space for twelve 400 x 400mm or nine 500 x 500mm pallets. An alternative version with four shelves can accommodate 16 of the smaller or 12 of the larger pallets. A combination of different pallet sizes is possible.

The PH Cell can be retrofitted if the machine has been prepared at the factory for automation. The same applies to extending the pallet handling system with a second rack module, allowing up to 32 pallets measuring 400 x 400mm to be stored.

All PH Cell handling units are of stable design, with the pallets clamped and released by means of an integrated cone arrangement in the machine table. It means that zero-point clamping is not required, saving costs. At the same time, chip evacuation is improved. Easy and ergonomic operation is ensured by the rotating set-up station, which is also standard, and the use of Pallet Master software via a touchscreen control.