Reasons to Automate Cutting Applications with Industrial Robots
Robotic cutting involves automating the process of removing excess material from workpieces with industrial robots in order to separate or shape parts. The main goal of robotic cutting is to eliminate or significantly reduce human involvement in order to optimize the process. There are several different types of cutting methods which include trimming, laser cutting, plasma cutting, waterjet cutting, oxyfuel cutting, and ultrasonic cutting. Regardless of which cutting method is selected, the reasons remain the same for why manufacturers should automate with the Yaskawa MH24 and other cutting industrial robots.
- • Mitigation of Errors - Automating cutting applications with industrial robots will significantly reduce and prevent errors. Robot manipulators are programmed to follow specific parameters with every workpiece. The addition of devices such as force sensors and robotic vision systems further enhance the accuracy of robots. The FANUC M-20ia will follow the same application path with every part ensuring high quality and clean cuts. Even when CNC machines are used there is still the chance for human error as parts could be improperly positioned by machine operators. With robotic cutting manufacturers can be assured workpiece quality will be consistent and uniform across all parts.
- • Less Material Waste - Fewer errors means fewer scrapped parts and less rework which reduces the number of materials used along with those that are wasted. The accuracy and consistency of the ABB 2600 not only lowers material waste but also makes the use of materials consistent and predictable. Companies will be able to better estimate the amount of material needed for their productions which allows for better budget planning.
- • Faster Cycle Times - Another reason to consider automating cutting applications with industrial robot arms is to improve cycle times. Factory robots operate at much faster speeds than workers, allowing them to cut more parts in less time. The operation speeds of robotic manipulators are also consistent without distractions or breaks in between parts preventing delays. The prevention of errors eliminates rework. Cutting parts correctly will also result in faster cycle times. Automating cutting with the FANUC Arcmate 120ic will provide significant productivity gains.
- • Increased Safety - Automating cutting applications with articulated robots will increase worker safety. Implementing the Yaskawa Motoman HP20D removes workers from exposure to sharp tooling. It also eliminates workers from repetitive motions and any injuries associated with such movements. The increased safety of robotic cutting not only creates a better work environment for workers but also allows for continuous manufacturing without disruptions from worker accidents.
- • Reliability - Robotic cutting creates a reliable manufacturing process. Six axis robots are consistent in their operation. They can operate around the clock without stoppages. Robots today have an average Mean Time Between Failure (MTBF) of over 90,000 hours. With cutting robots labor shortages are resolved as manufacturing robot arms will never quit, become sick, or take vacation.
- • Lower Costs - Reduced manual labor, faster cycle times, error mitigation, less material waste, and a safer work environment all contribute to lower production costs. Lower costs allow manufacturers to offer their products at competitive prices, growing their customer base and profit margins.