Like so many exhibitors at this year’s MACH, Fanuc is getting behind the Industry 4.0 push, with ‘Connectivity’ its theme for 2018.
The Fanuc C800iB
The Coventry-based manufacturer has a wide array of capabilities on display, from automation and AI, to RoboMachines, drives and controls. Robot models come from across the company’s collaborative, SCARA, and machine-tending portfolios, with everything connected via a single software platform: the MT-LINKi.
This scalable tool – first unveiled at the EMO show last year – collects, monitors and displays the data of every machine on the stand. Three of the cells connected by MT-LINKi are showcasing Fanuc’s RoboMachine capabilities within electronic discharge machining and vertical milling.
“The MT-LINKi, for us, is a software platform that fundamentally allows us to connect our products all into one place,” Andy Armstrong, Fanuc’s UK sales & marketing manager, told The Engineer. “We’ve set up a linking, overlook monitoring system for the stand (H19 – S610), so this is like our own little factory.”
“We capture all of the data – productivity data, cycle times, alarms of the machines – all in one place, so that customers can see the efficiency of their overall production process.”
Fanuc’s ‘on-stand’ factory included the ROBOCUT C800iB, which is the largest of the company’s wire EDMs. The machine, which was making its UK debut as part of a gear-cutting and hole-drilling cell, is equipped with a Fanuc CCR rotary table, and a bonding alloy Pentron attachment.
The C800iB is suited to high-capacity, complex cutting requirements, and is capable of working without human interference for extended periods of time. This is due to its automatic wire feeding functions and Core Stitch technology, a software tool that allows operators to plan cutting jobs and increase unmanned machining hours.
“We’ve got the C400, the 600 and 800,” Armstrong explained. “It [the C800] gives us a capability to put larger products on the wire EDM. You can see a die plate on there. We’re cutting a gear at the moment. So it’s an extension of the product range and the wire EDM machinery, just to give us a greater foothold into new opportunities.”
According to Fanuc, the two ROBODRILL cells are testament to the enhanced capability brought by Fanuc’s industry partnerships. The a-D21LiB model has been integrated with a Nikken 5AX-DD200BF2 direct drive 5-axis unit to cut a special-edition World Cup trophy out of brass. Meanwhile, the a-DiB5 ADV – which represents the latest advanced series of the ROBODRILL machining centre – is paired with a Fanuc robot and equipped with a Renishaw Equator. The Equator brings no-fault-forward functionality by analysing machined parts, and correcting any perceived decline in part quality without disrupting production.