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Machine Tending

What Is Machine Tending?

While automation is becoming more widespread, human workers still tend machines in many operations. Tending involves inserting raw materials into machinery or emptying equipment of completed components. Changing parts can take mere seconds, or it can take hours. Unless you have round-the-clock laborers, you can’t take advantage of machines that might otherwise run overnight, leaving them to sit idle until an operator is available. Human workers are also less precise in loading tasks than robots, potentially causing unexpected downtime.

This all adds up to losses in time and labor expenditures for work you could have had robots complete instead. Machine tending systems maximize uptime, allowing for lights-out operation and potential utilization increases of 200% or more. Given current labor shortages for skilled workers, robotic solutions can fill the human workforce gap, all while increasing efficiency and precision and lowering costs in your operation. 

Benefits of Machine Tending

Machine tending robots provide:

  • Increased efficiency and throughput. Machine tending robots offer quick setup, don’t require breaks, and have unattended, lights-out manufacturing capabilities. They also have cycle times at least a few seconds shorter per part than humans. Ultimately, this allows for higher productivity, greater throughput, and faster production cycles.
  • Repetitive task reduction. Machine tending tasks are very repetitive, with continuous loading and unloading. Rather than human operators manning these machines, machine tending robots handle these jobs more efficiently, freeing your staff up for more satisfying, engaging work.
  • Cost savings and value-add. By taking tasks off your employees while also increasing productivity, you can save on operating costs and even see a return on your investment within a few years. Also, rather than purchasing another standard machine that can only increase your revenue by 100%, a robot can help you realize two times that number because it can carry out several tasks and secondary processes.
  • Ability to multitask. When mounted in the right location, machine tending robots offer great flexibility in an operation. They will tend several machines simultaneously, loading and unloading components as needed. Cobots, or robots that work collaboratively with humans, also handle more than one process, such as sanding, polishing, and other secondary tasks.
  • Improved worker safety. Machine tending robots enhance safety in an operation by reducing worker interaction with a machine and, subsequently, the likelihood of human injury.

Machines We Tend Frequently

Our versatile robots tend to various machines, including:

  • CNC mills & lathes. Machine tending can load raw stock and unload completed parts while performing a series of post-processes as needed, like inspecting, cleaning, adhesive dispensing, and conveying to other machines.
  • Laser cutters. While machine tending, custom systems can package and inspect parts to reduce manual labor and handle post-cutting and engraving.
  • Injection molding machines. Common needs for injection molding machines are placing inserts into molds, gate cutting, pad printing, and packaging.

How to Deploy Machine Tending Robots With Develop LLC

DEVELOP LLC will help you choose the right robot the first time. We begin by working with you to determine your needs and the scope of your project, after which we’ll design the unique tooling and machinery that your operation requires. We’ll engineer the machine tending robot, testing it in-house to verify the functionality before we ship it to you. Finally, our team will install the robot into your existing systems for seamless integration. When timing is of great concern, you might consider a robotics-integrated application kit for faster, streamlined deployment.

Machine Tending Robots From DEVELOP LLC

Machine tending robots are an efficient and productive solution for various tasks that humans normally handle. They can extend production hours, reduce safety risks, and carry out processes faster and more precisely than humans.

DEVELOP LLC is a leader in robotic and automation integration solutions, providing design, engineering, and precision manufacturing services for cost-effective, high-quality equipment. Our team of engineers, manufacturing experts, and project managers is backed by nearly a decade of experience, allowing us to offer 360° coverage of your transition from machine ideation to final integration, backed by a proprietary, single-source DEVELOP LLC guarantee. Contact us today to learn more.

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