Hydrafeed lightens the load

Turn-Assist 180 Demo_tmbBar feed equipment specialist Hydrafeed will exhibit for the first time at Southern Manufacturing 2017. Since 2015, the firm has been the UK exclusive agent for the Robojob series of automated loading and unloading systems, designed specifically to optimise productivity on both turning and milling machines by automating the loading and unloading of workpieces. Visitors to the firm’s stand will see a working demo of the system in action.

Robojob offers two systems: Turn-Assist and Mill-Assist, both incorporating Fanuc robots. The Turn-Assist system allows the unit to be deployed on CNC turning machines of all brands and can be retro-fitted to existing machines. It uses a patented servo-operated stacking table, which helps to make optimum use of space for varying workpiece sizes. Operation is particularly user-friendly, says the firm, and its design requires no specific knowledge of robotics. The Turn-Assist takes less than 10 minutes to set from one job to another.

With the robot set in an inclined position, the machine opening remains fully accessible to the operator, as does the swarf tray, which provides easy access for machine cleaning and tool changes. The Robojob software even proposes which type of gripper or gripper fingers should be used on the robot.

Hydrafeed has installed systems capable of handling workpieces as small as 23mm diameter and as large as 450mm, depending on the robot used. These systems can reduce operator costs, improve productivity and consistency whilst also permitting cost effective lights-out production. Hydrafeed also offers these benefits to customers with machining centres via the Mill-Assist system which is also adaptable to all brands of CNC machining centres. It can be set-up in two ways, front or side; with the latter, users can choose a transparent screen with sliding doors, or an open entrance guarded using a light curtain.

Robojob incorporates a ’cube’ gripper arrangement that can quickly attach various types of grippers, such as adjustable clamp and vacuum. Mill-Assist features a configurable input and reception plate which is suitable for small and medium-sized parts from 23-450mm diameter.

See the Turn-Assist and Mill-Assist systems on the Hydrafeed stand R110 or visit www.hydrafeed.co.uk to find out more.

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