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How are industrial robots and machine tools integrated and applied

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The rapid development of robots has led to an increasingly mature integration of industrial robots and machine tools in the field of processing and manufacturing.

The rapid development of robots has led to an increasingly mature integration of industrial robots and machine tools in the field of processing and manufacturing. In most application fields such as welding, handling, palletizing, and assembly, industrial robots are used as hosts. Unlike this, robots that are paired with machine tools generally function as auxiliary machines.
The specific application forms of industrial robots and machine tools currently include:
1、 Single machine loading and unloading
Single machine loading and unloading is the most typical and mature application of robots in machine tools. It is more accurate, rapid, and safe than manual loading and unloading. For the processing of small and medium-sized parts with large production batches and short processing time, or for bulky workpieces that need to be lifted, the advantages of robot loading and unloading are particularly obvious.
The structural relationship between robots and machine tools can be divided into two forms: robots installed outside the machine tool and robots integrated with the machine tool. Robots installed outside the machine tool can be divided into fixed, mobile, and gantry types.
2、 Flexible production line composed of robots and machine tools
The process conversion of workpieces by robots and the formation of flexible production lines with several machine tools is a more complex and valuable application than single machine loading and unloading. In the current process of industrial transformation and upgrading, market demand is becoming increasingly strong.
In this application, the layout of the machine tool depends on factors such as the process route and on-site conditions. Common forms include L-shaped, U-shaped, linear, and opposite layout, among which three CNC machine tools form a U-shaped layout, with one robot performing workpiece conversion in the middle of the field. This layout is very compact.
3、 Collaborate with machine tools to complete the machining process
Robots clamp workpieces on punching, shearing, and bending machines to achieve processing operations, which not only involves simple loading and unloading, but also replaces all original manual operations. This is more accurate and fast than manual operations, thereby improving product quality and production efficiency. Especially, it completely solves the occupational hazards of stamping machine tools.
4、 Independently complete the processing process
Install specialized grippers on the robot, which can complete processes such as cutting, polishing, and cleaning. Even robots can directly grip cutting tools, perform drilling, tapping, riveting on workpieces, and perform cutting processing. In this case, the robot itself is a machine tool.
Robots with visual and tactile abilities can be used for complex processes such as assembly and parts sorting. Even for loading and unloading, specialized workstation tools with positioning devices are not required.
Equip robots with special grippers that can be used for casting and forging machinery operating in high-temperature environments, to complete tasks that are difficult for manual labor to directly complete, such as extracting molten iron, pouring, moving hot blanks up and down, and replacing hot molds.
Source: China Robotics Network

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