Automation of a numerically controlled machining center
The demands made on robots tasked with the loading and unloading of machine tools are extremely exacting, as exemplified by the setup at commercial vehicle supplier Klubert + Schmidt. It was only with the arrival of a robust Stäubli robot that one of their machining centers could be automated in such a way as to make the process completely reliable.
Klubert + Schmidt GmbH produces exhaust flaps, EGR valves and back pressure valves for almost all commercial vehicle manufacturers of repute. The manufacture of these systems for high-performance in-engine brake action at the K+S site in Pottenstein north of Nuremberg is characterized by a high level of insourcing and the pursuit of top quality. It goes without saying that the production of the throttle valves, a central component of the engine brake, is also carried out in house on modern machining centers.
There are a number of variants, with diameters ranging from 27 to 130 millimeters. The valve flaps arrive as blanks and leave the machine as the finished item. Automation plays a key role here – if the robot comes to a standstill, so does the complete machining center.
Complete processing in three-shift operation
Adjacent to the five-axis vertical milling machine, the manufacturer has installed a robot cell which not only handles the loading and unloading but also other jobs further down the line. The robot is question is a Stäubli six-axis TX90L. The extremely robust build of this industrial robot has ensured uninterrupted operation since installation.
To perform its loading and unloading duties, the Stäubli TX90L has to reach deep into the work area of the machining center, a maneuver that not only requires the robot to have a long range but also involves the risk of collision within such a confined space. This is where the compact design of the six-axis model really comes into its own.
But there is yet another aspect that is especially appreciated at