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Automation in Foundries How KUKA Robots Act as Casting Fettlers

Editor: Nicole Kareta

The KUKA cell4_premachining gives foundries more time and flexibility thanks to its 13-fold tool changer. The harmonized collaboration between the robot, positioner and motor spindle reduces the amount of heavy physical work involved in deburring, sawing, milling or grinding.

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The robot cleans different components in minimum setup time. This is where intelligence meets power: the KR QUANTEC nano scores with its rigid kinematics and also measures vibrations.
The robot cleans different components in minimum setup time. This is where intelligence meets power: the KR QUANTEC nano scores with its rigid kinematics and also measures vibrations.
(Source: ©KUKA Group)

One manufacturing cell, many possibilities: The KUKA cell4_premachining is made for the foundry industry and processes components weighing up to 600 kilograms. It makes no difference whether the parts are aluminum, gray cast iron or steel. As a deburring, milling or grinding cell, the cell4_premachining is maximally flexible. This is also demonstrated by its forklift-compatible base frame: It can be quickly relocated in the workshop and integrated into existing production lines.

Intelligent Solutions for Deburring

"The KUKA cell4_premachining can reduce cycle times by up to 50 % and save up to 75 % in tooling costs," says Steffen Jacobi, Product Manager at KUKA. "This is because a changer allows the cell to exchange and use different tools fully automatically." In just one setup, up to 13 tools can deburr, drill, grind fire cracks or cut risers. The advantage: minimal transport distances, maximum flexibility. Additional machining stations are not required.

Tool management is monitored by multiple safety and sensor systems, so there is no danger to man or machine. In addition, the robot notices when the tool becomes blunt: By sensing the changes in rotational speed, the KUKA KR QUANTEC nano can adjust the feed rate. This means that, if necessary, the tool is ground down to the last grit.

Central Clamping Unit and Simple Programming Make Work Easier

The robot cleans different components in minimum setup time. This is where intelligence meets power: the KR QUANTEC nano scores with its rigid kinematics and also measures vibrations. Before the system moves into a critical range for the tool, the robot counteracts it. Another advantage is the central clamping unit. The components are optimally aligned with the machining tool by the KUKA 3-axis positioner - without interfering clamping arms or clamps to obstruct the robot.

Steffen Jacobi sees further advantages for foundries in the simple programming: "The wireless control package KUKA. Handguiding with ready2_pilot makes it child's play to teach and control robots. Even the inexperienced can get started and teach simple paths in just a few minutes without any programming knowledge." In combination with the simulation software KUKA.Sim, companies benefit from an all-round carefree package that offers them planning reliability and efficiency - and relieves employees as much as possible.

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