Automated Cells & Equipment, Inc. (ACE; Painted Post, NY) has introduced the MD Mate, a simple, drop-in machine tending solution for small lathes, mills and grinders. This innovative drawer-based part presentation system enables parts to be placed onto simple fixtures located within each of the four included sliding drawers.
An operator simply opens each of the four drawers from outside the robot cell, places raw parts into each drawer fixture and then closes each drawer. Next, the operator cycle starts both the machine tool and the robot. The included 6-axis 7kg payload FANUC robot moves to the top drawer, depresses the drawer handle, pulls the drawer into the robot cell and locks it into position for part unloading. The robot now unhooks from the drawer handle, picks the first part from the drawer and then loads the machine tool. On the next cycle, a finished part is unloaded from the machine tool and a new raw part is loaded. The robot moves back to the drawer to place the finished part back into the drawer. As drawers are completed, the robot moves down to the next available drawer. The loading/unloading of the MD Mate from outside the robot cell promotes uninterrupted part load/unload of the machine tool.
See the product at IMTS booth #236249