A new addition to our machine family
We recently invested in a new CNC drill tap machine to increase our production capacity. This new addition will machine parts faster than the equipment we already have. Our plan for this machine is to automate it using robotics and have it run 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
We decided to opt for the Fanuc Robodrill because it works at high speed given that it takes only 0.7 seconds to make tool changes, carries 21 tools in the tool changer, and handles tools of up to 4kg. We also chose this machine because of its design for easy automation due to automatic high-speed front and side doors that open in 0.8 seconds.
The next step in our growth plan is optimizing this machine and increasing our efficiency by integrating a robotic arm and an automated optical sensor system. Incorporating both elements will relieve a person from feeding the machine. We will require an additional investment of roughly $300K for the first step of our automation plan to be possible.
USE BEFORE AUTOMATION:
We currently manufacture service parts for one of our primary clients in the forestry industry. These parts are essential for their machines and need frequent replacement due to the nature of the parts. The manufacturing process of these parts has been tested and perfected, so they don’t need much supervision aside from the quality control test. Thus, we plan to set up this new machine and work on these parts to cut our production time by about 30%, allowing us to make more pieces in less time.
IN THE FUTURE:
Once we’ve achieved automating the Robodrill CNC tap machine using a robotic arm, we will run it overnight to produce these same service parts for our client. And, during the day, we can have a person interact with the machine to create and perfect parts for other projects and clients.
We hope this automation process will be possible within the next few months by receiving the Accelerating Manufacturing Scale-Up grant from the BC government. Receiving this grant will help us achieve our goal of automating our first machining process, learning from it to implement it in other applications, and improving production capabilities. Otherwise, it will take a little longer. Still, we are determined to implement automation in our processes, and we will make it happen.