Simplifying CNC Automation
Mixed-part manufacturing is by definition a problem that requires the solution to be able adapt to part change quickly, easily and cost-effectively. The term Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED) was coined to represent the value of reducing part change-over time in Lean manufacturing. Historically, CNC automation has been anything but "Lean", requiring complex robot programming, gripper design and customized CNC workholding. Part change-over in an automated CNC production environment is typically measured in hours or even days.
The MultiGrip Automation System was created by machinists out of the frustration of using traditional grippers to automate CNC manufacturing. The team that created MultiGrip were challenged with automating over 250 part numbers. With an average batch size of less than 20 pieces, change-over needed to be measured in minutes not hours. MultiGrip began when someone asked the question, "Why can't the robot use the vise jaws as the gripper?"