04 December 2018

Jimtof 2018: Okuma introduces advanced automation and intelligent factory solutions

New robotic systems, implementation of artificial intelligence (AI) in CNC machining and cutting-edge intelligent factory solutions were the highlights of the Okuma stand at JIMTOF. At the stand, all machines were connected via IoT giving visitors the opportunity to experience the many benefits of smart manufacturing directly.

Okuma has introduced the ARMROID and STANDROID next-generation robotic systems for highly automated manufacturing processes.

For increased productivity in small and medium-sized enterprises, ARMROID offers automation solutions where conventional robotics would be too complex or too expensive. These solutions are achieved by integrating an articulated robot into the machine. With the use of an automated cell, the arm of the robot can load and unload workpieces, enabling the automated production of large series.

Expensive and time-consuming staff training is not necessary as the robot is operated via the machine control and operators can use its many functions to enhance and support the machining process. This robot also improves the machining process as it supports the workpiece in order to prevent vibrations.

However, with the new STANDROID system, Okuma presents an easy-to-install automation solution that can be added to machines. Its installation is extremely simple: the robot is placed in a space-saving automated cell positioned next to the machine and connected to the power supply and network cable.

With its compact design, STANDROID requires much less space than conventional robots, thus making it the ideal solution for customers with limited free space. Here too, operators do not need any special training as operation is similar to a typical machine tool. For the highest safety, a 3D simulation constantly monitors the robot’s movements in advance ensuring collision-free operations.

ARMROID and STANDROID are available in Europe from 2019.

This edition of Jimtof also saw the introduction of artificial intelligence systems for higher-level diagnostics.

Adding artificial intelligence (AI) to the control, through its extensive learning capability and analysis of vibration data transmitted by the machine, can provide: accurate diagnosis of spindle bearing conditions, allowing manufacturers to replace them before damage occurs; real-time monitoring of drilling conditions, reducing the number of defective parts due to broken bits; and minimising tool costs by providing a visual display of cutter wear conditions.

AI applications will be launched in Europe in 2019.

Inside the stand all the machines were connected to each other giving life to the “Factory of the Future”: Visitors were able to see the potential of Okuma 4.0 solutions very closely.

The smart factory Connect Plan solution enables close monitoring of the entire equipment by connecting all machines. The data collected reveals machine utilization and allows manufacturers to view the operational status of the production equipment on a monitor. This enables highly effective optimisation of the production process and predictive maintenance, which means that parts are replaced immediately before faults or defects occur, thus reducing downtime and maintenance costs.

Another important new feature is the introduction of the NET BOX suite-C, through which manufacturers can also connect machines from other manufacturers to the network.

The final new addition, but not the less important, was the new MCR-S (Super) gantry machining centre, which impressed visitors with its huge proportions and cutting performance.

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