GB2145642A - Programmable automated work or tool handling equipment in machine tools - Google Patents

Programmable automated work or tool handling equipment in machine tools Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2145642A
GB2145642A GB08317527A GB8317527A GB2145642A GB 2145642 A GB2145642 A GB 2145642A GB 08317527 A GB08317527 A GB 08317527A GB 8317527 A GB8317527 A GB 8317527A GB 2145642 A GB2145642 A GB 2145642A
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GB
United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
machine
robot
tools
unload
load
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Withdrawn
Application number
GB08317527A
Other versions
GB8317527D0 (en
Inventor
Eric Jeffrey Wightman
Original Assignee
Eric Jeffrey Wightman
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Eric Jeffrey Wightman filed Critical Eric Jeffrey Wightman
Priority to GB08317527A priority Critical patent/GB2145642A/en
Publication of GB8317527D0 publication Critical patent/GB8317527D0/en
Publication of GB2145642A publication Critical patent/GB2145642A/en
Withdrawn legal-status Critical Current

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Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B23MACHINE TOOLS; METAL-WORKING NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B23QDETAILS, COMPONENTS, OR ACCESSORIES FOR MACHINE TOOLS, e.g. ARRANGEMENTS FOR COPYING OR CONTROLLING; MACHINE TOOLS IN GENERAL CHARACTERISED BY THE CONSTRUCTION OF PARTICULAR DETAILS OR COMPONENTS; COMBINATIONS OR ASSOCIATIONS OF METAL-WORKING MACHINES, NOT DIRECTED TO A PARTICULAR RESULT
    • B23Q7/00Arrangements for handling work specially combined with or arranged in, or specially adapted for use in connection with, machine tools, e.g. for conveying, loading, positioning, discharging, sorting
    • B23Q7/14Arrangements for handling work specially combined with or arranged in, or specially adapted for use in connection with, machine tools, e.g. for conveying, loading, positioning, discharging, sorting co-ordinated in production lines
    • B23Q7/1405Arrangements for handling work specially combined with or arranged in, or specially adapted for use in connection with, machine tools, e.g. for conveying, loading, positioning, discharging, sorting co-ordinated in production lines with a series disposition of similar working devices
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B23MACHINE TOOLS; METAL-WORKING NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B23QDETAILS, COMPONENTS, OR ACCESSORIES FOR MACHINE TOOLS, e.g. ARRANGEMENTS FOR COPYING OR CONTROLLING; MACHINE TOOLS IN GENERAL CHARACTERISED BY THE CONSTRUCTION OF PARTICULAR DETAILS OR COMPONENTS; COMBINATIONS OR ASSOCIATIONS OF METAL-WORKING MACHINES, NOT DIRECTED TO A PARTICULAR RESULT
    • B23Q7/00Arrangements for handling work specially combined with or arranged in, or specially adapted for use in connection with, machine tools, e.g. for conveying, loading, positioning, discharging, sorting
    • B23Q7/04Arrangements for handling work specially combined with or arranged in, or specially adapted for use in connection with, machine tools, e.g. for conveying, loading, positioning, discharging, sorting by means of grippers
    • B23Q7/046Handling workpieces or tools

Abstract

A system of automated mechanical handling of work or tools enables one machine M1 to interface with another machine M2 via a handshaking process between respective robot loaders R1 and R2 slidably mounted on rails 2 extending parallel to the line of machine tools M1, M2, M3. A central computer is used to select modes of operation for the transfer of material, components or tools. <IMAGE>

Description

SPECIFICATION Universal programmable automated handling equipment For unmanned operation of machine tools it is necessary to satisfy a number of fundamental requirements relative to loading raw material, unloading finished machined parts, conveying raw material to the machine and similarly conveying finished parts away from the machine. Similar problems arise in the replacement of tools as they become worn with use.
Several traditional methods have been used to satisfy the above requirements for unmanned operation, comprising traditional moving belt conveying systems or robot trucks for transporting raw material and parts to and from the machine, and robot manipulators for loading and unloading material, parts and tools on the machine.
All of these systems may be controlled by means of a computer to enable the selection of a particular mode of operation on the machine, or a choice of machine from a group of machines, to suit a particular production process or type of component to be produced.
Such systems may be described as "flexible manufacturing systems" and may be manned, partially manned or unmanned depending on the extent of automation of transportation, work handling and computer control.
An example of a traditional automated manufacturing system is shown in Figure 1 and tends to be costly because of the high cost of individual items comprising conveyor or robot truck, machine load/ unload robot and host computer for controlling the system.
The purpose of the invention to be described in this application is to combine the role of conveyor and machine load/unload robot for each machine station, to comprise an automated cell engineered in such a way that one machine cell may interfere with another machine cell either upstream or downstream in the route between raw material stores and finished part stores.
The invention will now be described with reference to Figure 2 for a general purpose modular automated handling equipment for machined parts or tools. Three machines, M1, M2, M3 are shown equipped with robots R1, R2, R3, but any number of machines may be similarly equipped.
The equipment for each machine basically comprises a carriage 1 arranged to slide longitudinally on rails 2 positioned along the length of the machine 3 from end to end, under control from a computer and may rely on electric, pneumatic or hydraulic actuation.
On the carriage is mounted a robot manipulator R having several axes of freedom of movement and control. The robot is equipped with a hand which is preferably duplicated to enable raw material or a finished part or tool to be held and positioned, as required.
The hand is provided with a rotating wrist facility to enable the hand of say, robot R1 on machine M1 to be aligned with the hand of robot R2 on machine M2. This feature is required to assist the transfer of a component to be made from one machine to another, similarly between robot R2 on machine M2 and robot R3 on machine M3.
In one example of operation, referring to Figure 2, a host computer may signal the requirement for raw material to be loaded on a particular machine in say, the middle machine of a row of three machines, identified as machine M2 in Figure 2. The machine robot R1 on machine M1 nearest the raw material stores traverses upstream to the stores, picks up the raw material and carries it downstream to the other end of the machine, bypassing the working area of the machine, and hand it to the robot R2 waiting on the second (middle) machine M2.
The machine is then loaded and the part produced. When the part is finish machined, the computer then signals the machine robot R2 to unload the machine and carry it to the downstream end of the machine where it is transferred to the upstream end of the third machine R3 for transporting to the downstream end and final delivery to finished part stores, by means of robot R3.
While the middle machine M2 is machining the component, the first and third machines M1 and M3 respectively in the line may have completed their machining cycles and may also be unloaded and/or loaded in a similar manner by robots R1 and R3 respectively. The significant novelty and benefit from the configuration proposed is that greater utilisation of the machine load/unload robots is being obtained.
The robots can be executing simple transportation manouvres on behalf of loading raw material or unloading finished components for the other machines, while the parent machine is pre-occupied with machining a component. Thus robot R2 maybe used to take a component from robot R1 on machine M1 and transfer it to robot R3 on machine M3 for transportation downstream.
The system application described above for handling components may be similarly applied for replacing tools which become worn with use, from a central tool store.
The combined conveyor and machine load/unload robot would be capable of four major modes of operation for handling material, components or tools, controlled from a central computer: 1. To transport material from one end, the "upstream end" of the machine, to the working area.
2. To load or unload from the working area.
3. To transport from the working area to the "downstream end" of the machine.
4. To transport raw material, component or tool, from the upstream end to the downstream end, by-passing the working area.
Thus, in a workshop comprising a number of machines installed in a row and controlled by computer, it would now be possible to either 1. Direct raw material to any one of the machines by transferring from one machine to another until the correct machine destination is reached. Or 2. Similarly direct finished parts to the end of the line, by-passing successive machining processes where not required by using the conveying function only.
The benefits of the proposed invention accrue because the longitudinal movement of the robot is designed to replace the linear motion of the traditional conveyor or robot truck with consequential savings in moving parts, control equipment and cost.
The combined conveyor/robot assembly proposed may be integrated with the machine tool or retrofitted at some later date because it can be engineered as a self contained package either complete with separate computer for controlling the sequence of operations for each machine, or controlled from a remote central computer for multiple installations.

Claims (5)

1. A modular automated transportation and load/unload system for material, components and tools for use with a machine tool which may interlink with a similarly equipped machine tool.
2. An automated transportation and load/unload system as in Claim 1 incorporating a robot manipulator integrated with a conveyor which may interface with one or more similar integrated robot/ conveying systems.
3. An automated transportation and load/unload system as in Claim 1 or Claim 2 applied to multiple machines and controlled from a central computer to enable the random selection of machines, materials, components and tools to be made.
4. An automated transportation and load/unload system as in Claim 2 or Claim 3 incorporating robot/conveyor system integrated for use with a machine tool and having one or more gripper hand attachments for holding one or more components or tools.
5. An automated transportation and load/unload system as in Claim 4 which may be standardised for a multiplicity of machines of different types.
GB08317527A 1983-06-28 1983-06-28 Programmable automated work or tool handling equipment in machine tools Withdrawn GB2145642A (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB08317527A GB2145642A (en) 1983-06-28 1983-06-28 Programmable automated work or tool handling equipment in machine tools

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB08317527A GB2145642A (en) 1983-06-28 1983-06-28 Programmable automated work or tool handling equipment in machine tools

Publications (2)

Publication Number Publication Date
GB8317527D0 GB8317527D0 (en) 1983-08-03
GB2145642A true GB2145642A (en) 1985-04-03

Family

ID=10544911

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
GB08317527A Withdrawn GB2145642A (en) 1983-06-28 1983-06-28 Programmable automated work or tool handling equipment in machine tools

Country Status (1)

Country Link
GB (1) GB2145642A (en)

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO1998045085A1 (en) * 1997-04-04 1998-10-15 Kuka Schweissanlagen Gmbh Process and device for manufacturing complex parts
WO2004080645A1 (en) * 2003-03-12 2004-09-23 Kuka Schweissanlagen Gmbh Manufacturing plant for parts, particularly vehicle body parts
DE10335085A1 (en) * 2003-07-31 2005-02-17 Böllhoff GmbH Changing method for clinching tools in riveting process has rapidly interchangeable punch and die units to suit supply of rivets

Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB1254447A (en) * 1967-11-20 1971-11-24 Sundstrand Corp Machine tool control system
GB1376504A (en) * 1972-01-28 1974-12-04 Werkzeugmasch Okt Veb Magazine arrangement for storing and moving workpieces
GB2014882A (en) * 1977-09-02 1979-09-05 Droop & Rein Tool changing device
GB2073626A (en) * 1980-04-15 1981-10-21 Devlieg Machine Co Ltd Machine tool including a tool transfer mechanism
GB2087273A (en) * 1980-11-19 1982-05-26 Gildemeister Ag An apparatus for manoeuvring a workpiece
GB2109278A (en) * 1981-11-20 1983-06-02 Kearney & Trecker Corp Automated transfer of workpieces in machine tool system

Patent Citations (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
GB1254447A (en) * 1967-11-20 1971-11-24 Sundstrand Corp Machine tool control system
GB1376504A (en) * 1972-01-28 1974-12-04 Werkzeugmasch Okt Veb Magazine arrangement for storing and moving workpieces
GB2014882A (en) * 1977-09-02 1979-09-05 Droop & Rein Tool changing device
GB2073626A (en) * 1980-04-15 1981-10-21 Devlieg Machine Co Ltd Machine tool including a tool transfer mechanism
GB2087273A (en) * 1980-11-19 1982-05-26 Gildemeister Ag An apparatus for manoeuvring a workpiece
GB2109278A (en) * 1981-11-20 1983-06-02 Kearney & Trecker Corp Automated transfer of workpieces in machine tool system

Cited By (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO1998045085A1 (en) * 1997-04-04 1998-10-15 Kuka Schweissanlagen Gmbh Process and device for manufacturing complex parts
WO2004080645A1 (en) * 2003-03-12 2004-09-23 Kuka Schweissanlagen Gmbh Manufacturing plant for parts, particularly vehicle body parts
US7331439B2 (en) 2003-03-12 2008-02-19 Kuka Schweissanlagen Gmbh Manufacturing plant for parts, particularly vehicle body parts
DE10335085A1 (en) * 2003-07-31 2005-02-17 Böllhoff GmbH Changing method for clinching tools in riveting process has rapidly interchangeable punch and die units to suit supply of rivets
DE10335085B4 (en) * 2003-07-31 2016-07-28 Böllhoff GmbH Setting tool with interchangeable modules

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
GB8317527D0 (en) 1983-08-03

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