Intelligent program design for a more versatile system: pipes and profiles of various diameters and wall thicknesses are unloaded from a production machine and, depending on requirements, variably deposited onto belt tables or into wire-mesh containers or customer containers.
The order called for the mounting of an unloading unit onto a laser pipe-cutting process machine tool. Background: the machine is able to process different pipes and profiles of up to 250 mm in diameter, with wall thicknesses of up to 8 mm in the case of mild steel, at raw material lengths of up to 9,000 mm. The end products can be up to 8,050 mm in length and weigh up to 37.5 kg/m per item. Implementation of a fully-automated operation was designed to achieve consistent high-quality with flexible and efficient handling of even small batch sizes, with a minimum of idle time.
Our task was to completely integrate the parts sorting process. Depending on the requirement, the finished parts had to be picked using a flexible discharging station and placed randomly at various locations: namely, onto movable belt tables, in wire-mesh containers or customer containers.
Depending on the unloading unit tooling configuration, the machine processes finished parts of up to 8,050 mm in length, which the machine can unload using a variety of unloading strategies:
Based on the pre-specified, existing customer machines and processes (loading and processing), we developed a programming structure and processes for a new unloading unit. First we defined the structure of the NC cycles, which run in sync in a coordinated mode to deliver an efficient operating process. We integrated various NC cycles into the overall programming, so that the machine can correctly move the unloading unit to the part during the cutting process in sync with the actual processing time.
As the customer is able to select various tooling configurations, the NC cycles are programmed so that the number of NC axes present are automatically recognised (min. 6 drives to max. 14 drives). Parts may also be cut without installing the unloading unit.
Following programming, we carried out documentation of the functions and instruction manual. Service staff were instructed on the new changes to the pipe-cutting machine within the scope of a training seminar.