Advanced Machine & Engineering’s Machine Design & Build Division has a wide range of requests come through their inboxes for custom CNC machine designs, all with customers that have very different priorities. Some may prioritize production time, while others need to focus on the size of a machine for a specific part of their shop. Some need to handle extreme conditions, while others need to handle large variations in sizes and weights of materials.
The application of this article will be reviewing touches on a less common, but still extremely important task: improving the safety of machine operators.
This custom-made CNC machine was made to replace a fully manual machine with minimal safety features—it now supports a more automated process with greatly improved safety solutions.
The customer in this situation had a process that was run on a regular basis for years—steel bar stock was manually loaded into the machine in various pre-cut lengths. This then required recalibration and test drilling, prior to drilling the final holes in each end of the bar. In uncommon fashion, the manual process was not an issue for the customer—they were hitting their production rates and quality specifications without issue. The more prominent problem was that the machine they were using was showing extreme wear and tear from long-term use, and with an open interface, was lacking a complete set of safety features for the operator.
Designing a custom machine with up-to-date safety features often includes some amount of automation—the less time human hands are controlling the process, the less safety risks there are. With this in mind, the nature of the machine’s processes prompted machine designers to include an enclosure for the machine—meaning the varying locations of the bar stock ends would need to be located in an autonomous way prior to drilling the holes.
The final custom machine and design included interlocked work zone guarding, improving the overall safety of the machine, particularly in regards to the machine operators. An added benefit to this design included a productivity boost, due to the need to automate the locating of the ends of the bar stock prior to drilling—no recalibration or test drills were needed. More details as to how this operation was designed can be viewed via the video above.
If you need a custom made CNC machine, Advanced Machine and Engineering’s Machine Design and Build divisions is ready to receive your request. One of the benefits of working with our machine designers they can work for you or with you to develop and manufacture your expertly designed machines, handling equipment, and turnkey systems. Each step of the process is done in-house, allowing AME to assure successful completion of every element of the project.
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