Measuring the offset data was conducted so far directly on the EDM machine. Every minute that the machine tool was not in active production was wasted, non-productive time. So, it was only more than reasonable to perform the measurement process and the palletizing outside the machine, to have the possibility to increase the machine runtime. At this point, the skilled workers should be freed from monotonous routine tasks to allow room for more value-adding activities.
Valuable exchange of experience
Before the company made the investment, it requested a reference visit. It was very important for Mirco Timm to speak directly from mold maker to mold maker in order to share experience. During the reference visit, Mirco Timm was able to convince himself of the performance capability of EROWA and a high level automation scenario at the customer’s site. In the specific customer situation, the technologies of milling, EDM and measuring were seamlessly linked and controlled by the CERTA process control system.
Full throttle towards automation
Mirco Timm was thrilled by the impressions and quickly recognized the potential. He knew how important the first step was with the measuring machine. However, automation of the entire process meant another significant productivity boost. After consultation with the trusted partners of EROWA and CERTA, the decision was made to schedule the next evolution step immediately after the measuring machine project. These considerations led to the decision to link the existing Röders RXP 500 milling machine, the OPS Ingersoll Gantry Eagle EDM machine and EROWA’s Preset 3D CNC measuring machine to an EROWA Robot System Linear, controlled by the CERTA process control system. In this scenario, the robot loads the relevant tools directly into the Röders machine, providing for continuously available supply.
Employees on board
Mirco Timm was aware that he could not take this step alone. The transition to automation could succeed only with the whole team, because the introduction of new technologies often brings about change in the way people are accustomed to. Not every employee is open for changes right from the start. But Mirco Timm was sure that his team would go along this path with him.
Before the start of the project, all the details and necessary changes in the production process were discussed, planned, documented and approved in a workshop. The entire project, which was implemented by the team led by EROWA, ran almost without any issues. After all hardware and software components were delivered, the setup of the robot and the connection of the machine tools and the measuring machine could be implemented swiftly. The CERTA team ensured that the software solution was installed and integrated. So nothing stood in the way to take the big evolutionary step in the premises specifically air-conditioned for this purpose.