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High-precision engineering firm GB Precision has added a second Workpal robot, further increasing the level of automation in its Sparkbrook EDM department.

The company’s first 12-position Workpal robot was installed in 2008 to automatically feed an Agie Progress V2 wire EDM machine.

The new five-position Workpal pallet changer is to feed one of the company’s three Agie Hyperspark Exact machines.

‘The EDM section of our shop floor has been completely palletised for some time – with Macro and Dynafix pallets from System 3R – and the system also extends into many of our other machining areas,’ said GB precision director, Paul Turner.

‘Because we have always fixtured pallets with the maximum number of component positions and because most of the parts we manufacture are complex and relatively small, we have up to now obtained maximum automation benefit through the carefully organised loading of parts onto each pallet,’ he said.

‘In this way we can create separate pallets with time cycles to suit staff availability when manual pallet changes are required,’ he added.

However, palletisation cannot always be arranged optimally, which is why GB Precision bought the second robot as a dedicated resource to feed one machine, while the other two continue to be fed by the organised palletised system.

The productivity of the Agie wire EDM machine has also been increased, as all measuring activity can now take place offline, freeing up significant additional machining time and resulting in shorter lead times for customers.

In addition to increasing productivity on the shop floor, the Workpal also provides additional benefits; including its small footprint (1,200 x 1,200mm), making it easy to integrate into a highly structured workflow environment, and sliding door access across the full width of one side, giving maximum access to the magazine and greatly facilitating the ease of loading and unloading pallets.

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