Manufacturing cells with a supply of workpieces for one shift are used in many applications for machining complex workpieces – from the automotive industry to medicine and precision engineering. Many automation solutions in the past have been 2-part systems that required a good deal of time and effort to integrate into the process chain. To prevent this in the future, Schwäbische Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH (SW) – expert in challenging, workpiece-specific manufacturing systems for metalworking – has released two new manufacturing cells designed for plug-and-play-capable manufacturing cells that significantly shorten customer commissioning time: The systems consist of the proven machine tool BA 222 or BA W02-22 together with a newly developed loading module with integrated 6-axis robot and vertical pallet storage for blanks and finished parts.
The module enables loading and unloading of the machining center in parallel to machining time and is completely flanged onto the basic machine in the SW plant. The machine, robot and workpiece storage are designed as a crane hook solution to meet specific customer needs. Overhead robot mounting allows more freedom of motion. The workpiece storage is set off to the side, thus also allowing for manual loading of tools into the machine while requiring very little space. A manufacturing cell with loading module is also planned for the machining center model BA 322.
Independent manufacturing cells also ensure both a high level of availability and easily scaled manufacturing capacity, while lowering production costs. "They are especially well suited if a company is relying more on multi-shift operation, which means that one employee is responsible for several machines," notes Wolfgang Armleder, Director of Development at SW. "Independent cells can also be used if quality and process data have to be reliably tracked. Loading modules form an ideal basis for this because their deposit pattern is always nearly identical and outward transfer of SPC measured parts can be planned."