The Cobot Feeder, a CNC machine feeding application kit which delivers and stages parts to be placed into a machining process, received UR+ partner certification earlier this year. It includes a base storage and retrieval unit with a UR cobot pedestal, an enclosed steel rack dunnage tower with a 17-tray capacity that safely stores up to 50 pounds of material, an HMI touch screen display for easy lift control, Ethernet IP, Modbus, and standard UR cobot communications. By reliably loading and unloading dunnage trays that a UR cobot can consistently access, this versatile CNC machine-tending tool provides a standardized platform for storing, staging, and delivering parts into a position that the UR cobot can reach for loading and unloading.
The Cobot Feeder demonstration combines a UR10e and Flexxbotics FlexxCNC to control the process of loading and unloading trays of PBC Linear FL-12 bearings into a pneumatic vise. The modular, flexible, and easily re-taskable Cobot Feeder empowers one machinist to do the work of up to eight machinists while increasing the amount of raw materials available to cobot machines tending workcells.
“By increasing the amount of raw materials to a workcell, the Cobot Feeder’s 17-tray, high-density, part-storage solution enables a machining, welding, stamping, forming, or deburring center to operate for longer periods of time without human interaction, significantly increasing productivity by up to 300% or more,” explains Beau Wileman, Applied Cobotics and 3D Platform Product Manager, PBC Linear. “In many cases, this means a cobot workcell operating 8 hours a day during normal business operations can continue to work through shifts two and three, providing lights-out operation around the clock. This considerably increases the cobot workcell’s productivity, while overcoming the ‘labor gap’ in machine tending manufacturing operations.”