Great flexibility for machine tools

The key factor in the face of global competition is to increase the operating time of machine tools. Automation of a machine tool with KUKA robots boosts the productivity of the system and reduces unit costs. In many cases, the integration of a robot into the machine tool pays for itself in less than a year.


KUKA Roboter GmbH is also presenting a new software product. With KUKA.CNC, it is now possible for the first time to execute DIN 66025-compliant CNC programs directly with the robot controller. Wherever robots and machine tools meet, KUKA.CNC generates synergies which go far beyond the extent of cooperation seen hitherto. The robot carries out more than just loading and unloading of the workpieces. As part of an integrated process chain, pre- and postprocessing tasks are performed on the workpiece – in the same programming language as is used by the machine tool.


KUKA robots are a highly flexible element in the machine tool. The unlimited degrees of freedom of the robot make it possible to load and unload a vast range of pallets and workpieces of any size in a cell, and to process the workpiece at the same time. Pallet handling, sorting, deburring, cleaning, tool change and the linking of several machines are further tasks which the robot can perform reliably in cooperation with a tool machine. High flexibility and simple operator control enable fast, trouble-free adaptation to new challenges. The robot ensures optimal utilization of a machining center in three-shift operation.


Regarding the needs of the machine tool industry, KUKA’s competence in flexible solutions is clearly demonstrated by KUKA Key Technology Management and its extensive network of integrators and system partners.


Safety is of paramount importance in machining centers. Where operators and robots work together in close proximity, it must be ensured that the robot cannot move out of its defined workspace. “KUKA.SafeOperation” ensures just that – without the need for mechanical axis range monitoring or expensive, specially reinforced safety fences. The software transfers safety-relevant control tasks directly to the robot controller, thereby eliminating the need for an external safety PLC. “KUKA.SafeOperation” monitors the position and velocity of the robot and is thus responsible for operator safety.

Source: KUKA Roboter GmbH