Robots add efficiencies to large-format machining cell
A new machining cell uses a robot and linear floor slide to give machinists an expanded working area and travel capability. The new cell is ideal for any customer needing to cut 5-axis large format items, say the companies involved, such as models, statues, stairway parts, or car bodies. Kuka Robotics Corp. , global manufacturer of industrial robots, will provide robots for Robotic CNC Solutions’ new large format machining cell.
“Combining Kuka’s robot, Gudel’s linear slide and Robotic CNC Solution’s expertise will meet customer demands for large format robotic prototyping and machining,” says Kevin Kozuszek, director of marketing for Kuka Robotics Corp. Tom Bentley, president of Programming Plus, says, “Kuka’s high performance robots are key to our new cell, which will allow customers to mill more efficiently and more cost effectively.”
The new system expands the capabilities of the Kuka robot, allowing it to function as a larger CNC machine would, the companies say. One Kuka robot can mill from one position 2, 3, 4, or more parts stationed around it. It also may load its own parts. The 12-ft Gudel linear slide expands the system’s travel and work envelope so that customers can easily machine large format products at a lower cost than traditional 5-axis machine tools.
Robotic CNC Solutions, formally a division of Programming Plus, is a Kuka value-added reseller specializing in services for complex milling processes. Located in New Berlin, WI, the company says it’s a leading dealer of Delcam products. The company also offers hands-on training classes at its corporate offices.
—Edited by Mark T. Hoske , Control Engineering editor in chief
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.