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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by wileydavis View Post
    We just got a UR5 from universal Robots. It ran first op parts for 8 hours today while I went for a bike ride. Took about 20 hours of my time to get it to this point. Well worth it in my opinion.

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    Please, more information! Like all you are willing to share. Being a one man shop working from home this could really improve productivity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidScott View Post
    Please, more information! Like all you are willing to share. Being a one man shop working from home this could really improve productivity.
    ^What he said. I didn't want to come off too eager, but I'm really interested in those things. Also if you looked into the 'cobot' (I hate that word) offerings from Kuka or Fanuc or any others.

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    We use those little baskets for everything around here. As for machine interface, I use the M21 relay on the haas wired to an input on the UR controller. At the end of the part program I call an M52 to signal that the machine is ready. I have since wired a relay to the cycle start button so the robot doesn't have to physically push the button... endearing as it is. And I'll probably add a pneumatic door opener this weekend. The vice is pneumatic (schunk KSP160).

    As for grippers, I went with the robotiq because I could get it to work with all of our parts (we have about 100 part numbers). I can run first ops on all of our parts with one robot program and only a jaw change for stock size on the Schunk (we use talongrips for all first ops). I use it to ascertain the stock width that has been loaded in the trays, check that the part wasn't dropped, and the adjustable force is nice.

    And keep in mind the UR will run way faster than what's shown, but I'd need to cage it and that's not feasible for a number of reasons in our shop. Plus cycle time isn't a big factor for us. We let it run overnight doing first ops and the day guy does 2nd and 3rd ops. We're getting 4x the parts out per day that way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JNieman View Post
    @wileydavis

    That looks awesome. Thanks for the instagram vids. Any info on the "unexpected" costs of setting it up? Any workholding challenges, or part/blank staging that you didn't anticipate? It all SEEMS pretty straight forward but you know how things go sometimes...

    What I like most about these robots is being able to give a machinist the tools to set it up themselves. Machinists who might not be dedicated programmers, other than a little FingerCAM at the machine here and there, or using conversational stuff. The guys who are good at keeping machines running, and running well, but still end up doing some "part changer / operator" work that's not necessarily their best value. Giving those guys the power to delegate the "machine tending" tasks and let them be set-up guys for more hours of the week seems like a win for everyone. We're a short-run shop, too, so having to reprogram (no matter how easy some say it is) a 'real' robot can sometimes be unattractive, when you're only making 50-250 pieces.

    Plus, being able to let it keep running over the weekend/night is more betterer, too.

    Does that seem like the target for these types of robots?
    There wasn't much in terms of costs that was unexpected. Automated vices can be spendy. A new Schunk pneumatic is about $5k but well worth it. I'd say if you have an operator who can keep an eye on it then it's totally feasible to make a new program on the fly to run a new part. I'd say at this point I could do a simple load program in less than 30 minutes. That said, if you want to run light out like we do, then my rule is to only run a program that's proven itself first. For that reason I have a single program that will run all of our parts. we make stuff out of 1/2" to 3" stock in varying cut lengths. The robot only runs the first op, which we clamp with talongrips in the Schunk. The stock tray can be loaded up with any amount and the stack heights don't have to be even as the robot probes each pocket for the top piece. We drop the stock in a regrip station so we don't have to accurately locate all 80 pieces (they can be off by about an inch either way and still load correctly). When you run the program it will ask you for stock width, cut length, and an offset for the unload (not all parts are machined in the center.)

    The UR lets you do things like apply forces and make the tool compliant in certain axes. So our program uses that a lot to load and unload parts without having to define the exact load point. That lets you work with different parts without having to alter the robot program if that makes sense. It also lets you measure force so when we load the part, the robot will then push on it from a couple of directions to make sure the part is actually clamped or seated in the fixture.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JNieman View Post
    ^What he said. I didn't want to come off too eager, but I'm really interested in those things. Also if you looked into the 'cobot' (I hate that word) offerings from Kuka or Fanuc or any others.
    I haven't gotten a price or worked with one, but i'm really interested in the 7kg green fanuc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wileydavis View Post
    I haven't gotten a price or worked with one, but i'm really interested in the 7kg green fanuc.
    You and me, both.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wileydavis View Post
    There wasn't much in terms of costs that was unexpected. Automated vices can be spendy. A new Schunk pneumatic is about $5k but well worth it. I'd say if you have an operator who can keep an eye on it then it's totally feasible to make a new program on the fly to run a new part. I'd say at this point I could do a simple load program in less than 30 minutes. That said, if you want to run light out like we do, then my rule is to only run a program that's proven itself first. For that reason I have a single program that will run all of our parts. we make stuff out of 1/2" to 3" stock in varying cut lengths. The robot only runs the first op, which we clamp with talongrips in the Schunk. The stock tray can be loaded up with any amount and the stack heights don't have to be even as the robot probes each pocket for the top piece. We drop the stock in a regrip station so we don't have to accurately locate all 80 pieces (they can be off by about an inch either way and still load correctly). When you run the program it will ask you for stock width, cut length, and an offset for the unload (not all parts are machined in the center.)

    The UR lets you do things like apply forces and make the tool compliant in certain axes. So our program uses that a lot to load and unload parts without having to define the exact load point. That lets you work with different parts without having to alter the robot program if that makes sense. It also lets you measure force so when we load the part, the robot will then push on it from a couple of directions to make sure the part is actually clamped or seated in the fixture.
    That's a lot of good info I haven't seen or heard before. I appreciate the details.

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    Our corporation is using the UR robots extensively (Over 200 in the US). I've been doing complete machine builds and integrating them for the last 3-1/2 years. You can make these do a lot besides machine tending.

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    You are going to find that the UR robots are a lot less expensive than a Fanuc CR. However you cap out at 10kg payload with the UR10, and then are into the Fanuc Collaborative units. I have done a TON of Fanuc robot integration but no CR's yet. We are looking very closely at working with UR robots as well.

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    We are having a UR rep come in tomorrow with a demo unit. I have taken the UR online programming class (pretty cool) to familiarize myself with it before the visit. We a are medium sized shop with 40+ CNC's and are pretty excited about its possibilities on the shop floor. Will post again.

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    my company makes gear making machines with robot part loader unloader
    .
    you wheel in special cart with gear blanks and wheel out the other cart with finished gears.
    .
    they require expensive design customization. its a little like 40 years ago the talk was $20,000 cnc would make all shops able to run with just people off the street with only 5 minutes training.
    .
    got to take advertising with some skepticism.
    .
    i have seen fully automated warehouse where maintenance costs were so high they knocked down the warehouse rather than keep using it.

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    the brain center at whipples - Bing video Rod Searling saw this coming in 1964.

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    40 years ago they said shop be full of 5 minute trained button pushers.
    .
    i am a cnc operator who made $76,000 last year and probably $77,000 this year. i am paid more as a button pusher than i was paid 33 years ago as a graduated machinist apprentice
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    the clue is i do more than press the green button. the "operator manuals" are over 2000 pages thats another clue. the work instructions or work procedures are another over 2,000 pages.

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    Whether we like it or not, the robots are coming. There are always new innovations and technologies that will make some people unemployable. You have to keep learning and adapting for the times. Quit learning and you start dying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gobo View Post
    We are having a UR rep come in tomorrow with a demo unit. I have taken the UR online programming class (pretty cool) to familiarize myself with it before the visit. We a are medium sized shop with 40+ CNC's and are pretty excited about its possibilities on the shop floor. Will post again.
    The rep cancelled our appointment for today. Will repost after the visit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gobo View Post
    Whether we like it or not, the robots are coming. There are always new innovations and technologies that will make some people unemployable. You have to keep learning and adapting for the times. Quit learning and you start dying.
    .
    robots been here for many decades. nothing new, only thing new is robot salesman trying to sell robots more. there is a reason they are not used as much as originally thought. thats cause its not as simple as some think to integrate robots or as cheap.
    .
    robot loader unloader of parts to special carts so operator only needs to deal with batches of 10 or more parts and one operator work with many machines is the future. but tooling, cleaning, doing setups, debugging when things go wrong like tools breaking usually still requires a human to make decisions. often automation operation and maintenance ends up being higher in cost than humans. depends on what they are doing
    .
    for example cnc machining and cutter and part making noise cause it hit hard spot and $1000 facemill is about to get seriously damaged and cause the $5000. part to be scrap. human hears this and sees (sparks) and does feed hold. same with drill bit. not easy to do with robot that a human can do so easily. hear strange noise and stop machine before expensive damage. mazak has auto feed control sensing above normal spindle load and ball screw thrust but takes over 5 seconds to react and often overload setting from nuisance tripping to actually working as designed is hard to get just right from my experience. better than nothing but not fool proof. dont work that good for little cutter on high hp machine. lets just say better than nothing but not fool proof. 2% failure rate can be extremely expensive

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    Adding a robot to your process is simply one more level of automation. You have all the same issues as you mentioned above, whether you are automating using a bar feeder, pallet loader, gantry loader, or robot. Above all else, your process must be robust and absolutely bulletproof. We have learned this with our gantry loader. It will now run without any interaction with a human until the carousel is empty of material. There will probably always be the case where automation is not possible, but as technology advances, that will become less and less. We can now do things undreamed of just a few years ago. What will be possible in another 5 years?

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    Quote Originally Posted by wileydavis View Post
    We just got a UR5 from universal Robots. It ran first op parts for 8 hours today while I went for a bike ride. Took about 20 hours of my time to get it to this point. Well worth it in my opinion.

    Instagram
    What type of batch sizes do you run with it? We're a job shop with a good base of reoccurring work that would be excellent put-and-take work for a co-bot, but are trying to figure out what the ballpark "worth the investment" point is. Have you been able to use it for any other purposes other than machine tending? There are months where the thing would be indispensable but then other times where you're doing one-offs/small batches and don't need a GBP.

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    We had the rep come in and demo a UR5. I think it would be a wonderful fit for us. We are a product shop and run many parts over and over in small batches ( 50 to 100 parts ).Pretty simple to program. If I can convince the bean counters to buy one, I will post how it works out for us.

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