The growing trend to automate smaller series and one-off batches sets new requirements.
The automation solution needs to provide greater flexibility and reduce downtime between orders. The time it takes to set up the machine is a well-known source of lost productivity, but by allowing the robot to change the pallet with the vice and fixture in the machine between workpiece changes, unwanted downtime is avoided where operator availability is usually relied upon.
ABB offers ZeroPoint, as an accessory that can be fitted to the FlexLoader products, where it combines with existing function packages and standard cells. This option enables production for longer periods without the operator having to be present for order changes.
ZeroPoint is a tool for modern production. The system frees up time for the operator who, for example, can better plan his work via an intuitive HMI, as well as generating a better working environment as mounting of workpieces on to the pallet take place outside the machine tool on a dedicated work area.
The operator queuing the orders in the job list to be run during the day via the user-friendly and intuitive HMI, which simplifies the control of the cell by linking all the necessary parameters for correct order management and process flow in the cell.
The manual work of preparing pallets and grippers for upcoming orders can be done when time is available for the operator. The robotic cell is equipped with a modular system that provides storage locations for empty and queued pallet systems and automatic gripper changeover to handle a wide range of products.