A typical cobot machine tending work cell
Although there is a large variety in the way that automated machine tending applications are deployed, the average work cell usually requires a few different components Here is what that typically looks like:
The cobot arm – you need to choose the model with the correct payload and reach for your workspace as well as select the right gripper
Mounting stand for the cobot to place it for the right height and angle for optimal movements
The industrial machine being tended, such as a CNC or injection molding, with appropriate safety features such as a door to block any debris being projected
An infeed conveyor or staging table, where the unfinished parts are ready; and an outfeed where the cobot places the final product. This could be a conveyor or staging table.
The raw parts themselves
The controller, operator and any other components used to program the cobot
One of the main benefits of using a cobot for machine tending is safety. Without workers having to repetitively load and unload parts directly into the machines, the chance of injury to the worker is significantly reduced. Cobots also have a range of inherent safety features that can be used to simplify the installation as well. The power and force limited control system mean the cobot access doesn’t need to be restricted by typical, permeant safety fences for example.
With configurable limits for power, speed and stopping distances, the floorspace required for the application can be significantly reduced. Workers can work in close proximity and share workspace with the cobot system. Every application needs a detailed risk assessment prior to deployment to ensure the safe of those working around the equipment