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An alignment pin used in the assembly of a type of power tool is being processed on an automation cell designed by Methods Machine Tools Inc.
Shops Benefit from Advanced Technology
Robots deliver cost-effective results in cells or out of cells
Jim Lorincz Senior Editor
y now the accepted wisdom is that automation can improve spindle uptime in machining applications, provide 24/7 untended production and material handling, and configure diverse types of machine tools into productive cells. Small and midsized shops also have an opportunity to adopt automa- tion as a ready-made and cost-effective solution to critical gaps in the availability of skilled workers for applications like welding, for instance. Although automation can and does take many forms, ranging from barfeeds and parts catchers to pick-and-place systems, and to floor, machine, or gantry- mounted robots, each type has its pros and cons. Descriptions of solutions range from inexpensive, simple and flexible to just the opposite. Matching the right solution to the application is critical and often inherent in the solution chosen.