Simpler automation for 5-axis machining cell

The Brother M200X3 5-axis machining centre with integrated BV7 robotic component load/unload magazine available for demonstration in the Kenilworth showroom of sales agent Whitehouse Machine Tools
The Brother M200X3 5-axis machining centre with integrated BV7 robotic component load/unload magazine available for demonstration in the Kenilworth showroom of sales agent Whitehouse Machine Tools

Machining centre manufacturer Brother has announced that it is now offering its M200X3 5-axis mill-turn model, as well as two other 30-taper machines in its range, with the factory-fitted option of a robotic workpiece magazine.

A view inside the Brother BV7 stocker, showing the robot about to pick up a billet from one of the trays
A view inside the Brother BV7 stocker, showing the robot about to pick up a billet from one of the trays

Accordingly, the sole sales and service agent for the UK and Irish markets is Whitehouse Machine Tools, has now installed a cell available for demonstration in its Kenilworth showroom.

Although of standard configuration, the BV7 stocker is flexible enough to be adapted to suit a manufacturer's automation needs. It offers a higher degree of functionality for loading and unloading individual parts than a simple cobot, yet avoids the complexity of a fully-fledged storage and retrieval system for machine pallets, with its larger space requirement.

As with all Brother equipment, the vertically-orientated robotic workpiece stocker is very compact, occupying a space less than 1m from either the left or right hand side of the machine. For holding billets and machined workpieces, 10 trays measuring up to 470 x 300 x 135mm may be easily inserted and extracted manually, each weighing a maximum of 25kg. The tray that is to be machined next is simply selected by push-buttons on the side of the unit. Any number of components can populate each tray to suit the requirements of the user.

The integral robot effecting load/unload of the individual workpieces has four CNC axes, three rotational and one linear into and out of the machine via an automatic door. It carries twin grippers with the end effectors at right angles to each other. They load and unload parts into and out of a pneumatically or hydraulically actuated fixture on the rotary table, which in turn is mounted on a swivelling trunnion.

The automation unit is pre-connected to the machine control, so there is no need for additional wiring. Programming of the robot movements is either by a teach pendant or using PC software running Brother's BASIC programming language.

Robotic loading of the billet in progress in the Brother M200X3
Robotic loading of the billet in progress in the Brother M200X3

The M200X3 itself is also compact, occupying a footprint of less than 1.3 x 3.9m. It nevertheless has a generous working volume of 200 x 440 x 305mm, coupled with high productivity offered by 50m/minute rapids and a 16,000rpm Big Plus spindle that deploys 22 cutters from an integral tool magazine.

Whitehouse Machine Tools
www.wmtcnc.com

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