American Machinist

Machine soft material with a robot. (Technology Trends).

WHILE SHOPS MOST LIKELY WON'T be abandoning their machining centers just yet, new developments from CAD/CAM developer Delcam plc, Birmingham, UK, and industrial-robot manufacturer Kuka UK, Halesowen, UK, are furthering the idea of machining by robot. The companies believe that robots could provide a low-cost alternative to machine tools for many large-scale manufacturing operations carried out on softer materials.

Until now, machining with a robot has been limited to a small number of special production operations. However, advancements in Delcam's PowerMill machining software and in Kuka's control systems have made it easier to program robots for a wider range of applications. …

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