You are thinking of automating your (CNC) machine with a loading robot, but you doubt whether you will be able to adjust your business processes in order to make optimum use of that robot. Xcelerate, the loading robot, with its modular construction is a highly suitable solution for a low-threshold entry. In this blog post, you can read how Xcelerate users have dealt with this issue.
Evolution rather than revolution for robot automation
An important insight that new customers gain from Cellro is that robot automation is not a difficult transition. It is not the case that all possibilities offered by Xcelerate are taken advantage of immediately. Our Sales Engineer will willingly examine your process with you to see what the possibilities are for using Xcelerate. What work can the robot perform and how should it do it? Which work would the robot not be able to perform, and what alternative solution can be found that can be integrated into the process? In addition, some prerequisites must be established:
- Machine is suitable/prepared for automation
- Programs are written in a CAD/CAM system
- You and my employees view it as an advantage/help in production
- Product range allows itself to be produced automatically. This means a lot of diversity and small to medium-sized batches
- My company is open to applying new production technologies
If these prerequisites are met, it is still worth starting small and first familiarise yourself with the robot. The modular design makes it possible to add options later. In addition, machine operators get to know the robot better every day, giving them a greater understanding of how to use the robot more effectively. When you determine how the process can be improved and seek to optimise it, the Sales Engineer can work with you to see how this solution can be applied. The key advantage is the possibility to start small. This is beneficial in terms of investment and learning to work with Xcelerate. In other words, this evolution does not start with the machine, but in the process.
We see customers with Xcelerate take a very innovative approach, devising and applying solutions that suit their product or process. Perhaps even more important is that the system also allows for innovation. Examples of this are: new fingers and inlays for processed products.
Cellro tackles the situation with you
Cellro not only advises on which type of automation will suit you best, but what elements need to be adapted or purchased as part of the solution. In other words, automation is not about slotting a robot into the current processes. We believe it is worthwhile to return to the core issue and always ask: What is your goal in automating processes, how do you see it working for you and why do you want to automate these processes? Together with the adviser, you could then examine how many of your products you could automate.
You will then observe a major change in your approach to the process and planning. You will notice that, where separate batches were previously planned and loaded, you now focus primarily on processes and the planning of multiple batches. You have to ask yourself: How do I plan this batch and how do I ensure that a particular machine can do its work for as long as possible and in time to deliver products for a subsequent process? You can also start thinking about how to use the time of a program’s cycle to prepare new batches (which may continue throughout the night). Production is therefore no longer arranged depending on the people who can load the machine at that moment; it allows you to think more about the process. When do I complete the smaller batches and when do I use Xcelerate to load large batches?
Optimising business processes for companies with their own products and product ranges
Companies in the metal processing industry often turn raw materials and/or semi-finished products into products. This happens regularly at different stations and at different machines. If a process is changed at one of these stations (for example by robot automation) and orders are processed faster or at other times, this of course also has an impact on the other machines. If no change is made to these processes, nothing else will happen other than a start-stop effect similar to what you may also have experienced in a traffic jam. If part of a motorway is widened, there will be more cars at a junction further on. Without a proper solution, the problems will simply have changed place. It is therefore very important to consider this matter. What change am I implementing through this form of automation?
Want to find out more?
Would you like to find out more? Are you curious to know what Cellro could do for you? Please contact one of our experts.