Yaskawa Motoman Robotics

Electro-Discharge Machine Tending

Robotic tending of an Electro-Discharge MachineSome people believe that you must have high volumes of a single part and short cycle times to justify robotic automation. They are typically not familiar with electro-discharge machining (EDM), where contrary to industry perceptions, EDM is frequently automated. Why? The concept is quite simple. Even though the cycle can be long, timely servicing is critical to maintain production.

With productivity as the project driver, a customer approached Yaskawa Motoman and an integrator to automate their EDM process. Working together, the best solution was developed to meet the many process challenges.

Project Challenges

Yaskawa Motoman Solution

Cell Process

The robot takes five blanks at a time and loads them into a cleaning station. On the other side, the robot removes the clean parts and loads them in a carrier pallet at the loading station. These parts can then be loaded into a storage rack for future processing or loaded directly into the EDM when the current cycle is complete. Finished parts are washed after processing and then are moved back into the pallet magazine for operator unloading. On overnight or weekend operations, finished parts can be loaded into the storage rack until the operator pallet is emptied.

Results

The system produces 30 parts per hour. With its buffer capacity of 650 blanks and finished parts in the pallet magazine, the system can run automatically for 21 hours. In addition to saving labor, the customer is now able to operate an unattended night shift which provides up to 21 hours of unattended production per day.

 


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