Today, I have two product releases in the automation space. Collaborative robots (cobots) were the hit of Fabtech a couple of weeks ago. I was wondering about SCARA robots—those that I first learned to program and use back in the 80s. ABB came through with some SCARA robot news. Then comes news from a new Danish company that is applying automation to CNC machine loading problems.
Made4CNC Launches World’s First Completely Automatic CNC Door Opening Solution for Robots
A new Danish company has solved a well-known and previously unsolvable challenge in the metal industry; Made4CNC has developed the world’s first completely automatic door opening solution for robotic machine tending, fitted to any robot and CNC machine in under an hour.
Currently only a small percentage of the industry’s CNC machines are automatically fed components. Most of the world’s CNC machines rely on either the operator or the robotic arm having to physically open and close the machines’ heavy doors every few minutes. Investing in a new fully automatic CNC machine or upgrading an older model can be a tall order, both in practical and financial terms.
Made4CNC’s first official product, the new Safedoor SD100 removes the barriers to the automation of component feeding at machine shops. Safedoor SD100 opens CNC doors that are up to 1 meter wide and weigh 400 kg, at a speed of 500 mm/s. The door opener can connect to any robot and CNC machine make via galvanic insulated digital inputs and outputs.
Several end users and distributors have already caught the scent of a killer app and have started deploying the solution. The team behind Made4CNC, Thomas Visti, Lasse Kieffer and Peter Nadolny are three professionals well-known for disrupting the robot industry, having played integral roles in the success of Danish robot companies Universal Robots, OnRobot, Purple Robotics and Mobile Industrial Robots.
When automating CNC machines today, integrators often build “homemade” door opening solutions. But that risks errors, stoppages, and hazardous situations because the solutions typically require compressed air and are neither standardized nor tested. These challenges are overcome with Made4CNC’s fully electric Safedoor SD100 with built-in safety functions that enable the integrator to adjust the speed of the CNC door, making risk assessments easier to conduct.
“Around the world the need for faster and greater automation is a major trend, and for it to succeed, less time must be spent on each installation,” said Peter Nadolny Madsen, CEO at Made4CNC. “With the SD100, we have integrated safety and robustness in a user-friendly solution, which we believe is the key to optimal productivity,” he said, adding that integration of collaborative robots or light industrial robots together with existing CNC machines makes a lot of sense, since the automation of existing machines generate low risk and a short payback period for the customer.
Together with investors Thomas Visti and Lasse Kieffer, Peter Nadolny Madsen established Made4CNC in January 2021. Investor Lasse Kieffer has contributed with his deep technological expertise, while investor Thomas Visti has provided market insight: “Made4CNC has understood what is required to make the process easier,” said Thomas Visti “It’s win-win-win for the end customer, employees, distributors and the manufacturer. I therefore expect that Made4CNC will have established itself via robot distributors and integrators around most of the world in the next 12 months.”
Integrator Nordelektro has installed two Made4CNC Safedoor SD100 door opening solutions at Randers Tandhjulsfabrik. “It took less than an hour for each CNC machine and they are good and stable door openers,” reported Lars Bo Nielsen, factory manager at Randers Tandhjulsfabrik. For Nordelektro, it makes a huge difference that they can provide customers with a standardized solution designed as a solution-in-a-box:
“Safedoor SD100 is a complete solution, which makes it simpler to work with automation,” said Jesper Storm Simonsen, sales manager at Nordelektro. “It is a huge advantage for us as an integrator. We don’t need to invent something complicated and expensive. We have minimum project risk.”
Made4CNC has just entered into agreement with their first American distributor, Thinkbot Solutions: “Safedoor SD100 makes having a job as a machine feeder much more pleasant and easy-going, while the employer will be able to optimize and get a better work flow,” said President of Thinkbot Solutions, Philip Courtois. “Others have tried unsuccessfully to develop a user-friendly door opener. Made4CNC has completely succeeded. I have chosen to distribute SD100 because attention is given to all of the details in terms of the mechanics, software and safety,” he stated, adding that SD100 is certified by the world’s most popular collaborative robot company Universal Robots (UR). “The UR+ certification ensures completely seamless integration with robots from Universal Robots. All operation can be done through the robot’s teach pendant.”
ABB expands SCARA robot range for faster, high precision assembly
ABB expanded its range of SCARA robots with the launch of the IRB 920T. Designed to meet the requirements of the electronics industry for high-speed production in increasingly complex manufacturing processes, the IRB 920T provides the highest levels of speed, accuracy and repeatability for assembly, picking and handling tasks.
“The need for companies to respond quickly to changing consumer demands is making SCARA robots a popular choice for production lines where fast and accurate performance is key to ensuring maximum product quality,” said Antti Matinlauri, Head of Product Management for ABB Robotics. “Together with ABB’s OmniCore controller, the IRB 920T is part of a new generation of robotic solutions from ABB that help manufacturers stay one step ahead of changing market demands.”
With a cycle time of 0.29 seconds, the IRB 920T is faster than other SCARA robots in its class and up to 14 percent faster than ABB’s current IRB 910SC SCARA robot, enabling more products to be produced per hour. With a maximum payload of 6kg and available in a choice of variants offering reaches of 450, 550 and 650mm, it can be installed throughout production lines to handle a variety of items, from single components through to assembled products.
Key to the performance of the IRB 920T is its excellent repeatability. Offering class-leading consistency, the IRB 920T can work quickly without the risk of errors, making it possible to achieve the highest levels of manufacturing quality with minimal or zero wastage. This flexibility is further supported by its lightweight and space-saving design. Weighing just 24kg, the IRB 920T is 10 percent lighter than other SCARA robots in its class, reducing cell design costs by eliminating the need for extra materials to support the robot. With all cables routed internally to remove cable interference, it also offers a compact footprint, enabling optimization of available production space.