How the AWR Rotary Cell makes Setting Up New Parts Easy

The Automation Within Reach Rotary Cell offers automated CNC tending in a compact footprint while still providing access to the machine. As with most automated solutions, operators tend to expect setting up new parts to be a hassle. Robot programming, robot adjustments and having to input numbers are the most common concerns in this environment. Fortunately, the RC series circumvents these concerns by providing the ability to set up the machine for new parts without requiring a teach pendant, robot programming skills or input of any numbers. Changeover on the AWR RC typically can be accomplished in 15 minutes. Here's how to set up a new part:

Loading the Raw Material

rc_templatesParts can be safely loaded and unloaded from the side of the RC opposite the robot. Like a pallet changer on a horizontal machining center, an operator can unload finished parts and reload raw material without interrupting the operation of the robot and CNC machine.

  1. Install the templates to hold your parts - these are designed to present raw material to the robot in a consistent location.
    • All available templates can be stored in the pocket on the CNC side of the RC unit.
    • The RC comes equipped with 2", 3", 4" and 5" templates.
    • An additional 6" template is available for purchase.
    • This will later be measured by a built-in laser to determine robot pick locations.
  2. Secure the matching templates and set them further apart with metal spacers to accommodate taller parts.
  3. Load your raw material

Onscreen Setup


Our user interface was designed to be as simple as possible, offering visual instructions for each step. This allows the operator to set up the machine for new parts without entering any numbers.

  1. To enter setup mode, press the icon in the top left.
  2. Start a new part by clicking the blue cylinder.
  3. Tap the home button and then toggle "Load Not Complete" to confirm you have loaded all your parts.
  4. Load Setup - select the picture for each step; at this point, the Help icon will tell you what each image means
    • Will the robot grip the raw material by its OD or ID?
    • Will the robot load the CNC machine's main or sub-spindle?
    • Tap the checkmark to move forward.
  5. Unload Setup - select the picture for each step
    • Will the robot grip the finished part by its OD or ID?
    • Will the robot unload the CNC machine's main or sub-spindle?
    • Tap the checkmark to move forward.
  6. Advanced Setup - select the picture for each step
    • Will the robot handle one or two parts at a time?
    • Do you want to enable air blow for the main and/or sub-spindle?
    • Tap the pencil icon to finish setup.
  7. Hit play to end this stage; the robot will rotate the template.


Setting up the Robot


Once the robot moves into position, it is ready for the final stage of setup.

  1. Take one of the raw parts and manually load it into the CNC machine. This allows the robot to determine the depth of the part in a later step. 
  2. Adjust the load gripper pins (the side with the spring plate) to fit your part. If you are gripping ID, remove the pins at this stage.
  3. Adjust the unload gripper pins to fit the finished part
  4. This is when the robot determines the part depth and the CNC machines the first part.

While the part is being machined, the robot scans the regrip area to confirm it is empty and proceeds to calculate the following with a built-in laser:

  • Template height
  • Template size
  • Part height
  • Part diameter

After the CNC cycle completes, the robot tests the depth of the finished part and is ready to proceed. If you removed the gripper pins in the first process, replace them now; otherwise, just press play on the user interface. Part setup is now complete and the robot is ready for unattended operation while you prepare the other side for the next round.


Robotic Machine Tending Made Simple

The AWR RC allows quick part changeover and eliminates wasted time and labor. The AWR RC can free up your machinists or even cover an additional shift, making it a powerful automation solution for your high-mix, low-volume shop.

If you think the AWR RC might be a good fit for your operation, we will gladly provide a demo of the RC running your part.

Request a Demo