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Machine Tending Robots | Machining Robots | Robots for Machine Tool Load/Unload

The machining industry – including capital equipment like lathes, mills, machining centers, forges, presses, and injection molding machines – have been the backbone of manufacturing. There is not a job shop or manufacturing plant that likely has not invested in this technology. Automating these machines gives manufacturers clear advantages in terms of utilization, secondary processes, labor resources and productivity. The fact is anytime a machine sits idle or an operator isn’t available to support it equates to lost productivity and profits. FANUC's robots and software make it easy to connect the equipment and improve throughput/overall equipment effectiveness.

Advantages of Robotic Machine Tending

  • Increase flexibility compared to fixed automation
  • Maximize throughput with higher speeds and performance
  • Increase system uptime
  • Ability to service multiple machines
  • Reduce operation costs
  • Increase quality
  • Ability to perform secondary operations
  • Improve employee satisfaction

M-20iA machine loading robot

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Flexible Robot Mounting Solutions – Inside or Outside the Machine

Because space is at a premium in most production facilities, many machine tending robots have a small footprint. Flexible mounting solutions allow you to customize where the robot is mounted in relation to the machine tool. Sometimes the most ideal solution is to place the robot inside a machine tool. FANUC offers several levels of protection for robots deployed in harsh environments, including water and dust protection.

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Solutions for Robotic Machining and Machine Tending Robots

Robotic Machining System Features Automated Changeover for Workholding & Parts - Courtesy of Gosiger

Faster tool changes - With a wide range of tool changing station mounting options, including top mounting, some types of robot serve as highly efficient tool changers. Capable of working with a huge range of tools, these models can handle any number of tools regardless of their weight.

Robotic Machine Tool Loading - Courtesy of Automated Cells & Equipment

Easy to implement - Ready to go - Allows for palletizing of differing products and SKU’s onto the correct corresponding pallets. This system sorts 16 types of products coming from a single line, then palletizes them on 16 different stacking locations.


Injection Molding - Robots are invaluable when it comes to injection molding. From part removal, to sprue cutting, degating, labeling, laser marking and adding inserts, they increase throughput across a varied range of tasks while negating the risk of damage.


Unmanned Machining - When labor is difficult to obtain, train and retain unmanned machine tending solutions are an ideal option.

FANUC Machine Tending Robots: Easy to Implement - Ready to Go

Flexible standalone solutions make automating with machine tending robots a very viable choice for small to medium size businesses. These cost effective options are easy to operate and offer considerable benefits even on small production runs.


“The Lean Machine Generation 2” Robotic Machine Tending System - Courtesy of Acieta & Wagner Machine Company
Machine Tending Cobot Load & Go Drawer Cell - Courtesy of Automation Within Reach
SNAPMate – Simplifying Machine Tending Cobot Automation - Courtesy of Motion Controls Robotics Inc.

Get the most out of your robotic machining processes.
Contact us today to speak with a machine tending robot application expert.

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FANUC’s machine tending automation specialists

From small standalone cells to larger machining lines, FANUC offers a wide range of robots ideally suited for any machine tending operation. Better yet, the powerful FANUC R-30iB Plus controller is capable of controlling the entire cell as well as additional peripheral axes.

Benefits of Machine Load/Unload Robots: Increase OEE

Increase OEE by putting your machine tending robot to work on secondary tasks while the machine is in service! Robotically tending a machine tool allows you to increase your overall equipment effectiveness. While the machine is in service, you can utilize your robot for a range of additional cell-related tasks such as deburring, cleaning, quality control, specification checks, gauging and surface vision inspections. Robots can quickly change grippers to maximize production time and accommodate jobs involving more than one process.

Robotic System for Machining & Deburring Transmission Components - Courtesy of Matrix Design
Robotic Loading of Gear Grinding Machine - Courtesy of Matrix Design

Two for One or More - Load Multiple Machines with One Machine Tending Robot

With a range of rail, floor, wall and ceiling mounting options to save space and expand your robot's work envelope, our robots are ideally suited to tending multiple machine tools - increasing your throughput and maximizing production time.

FANUC "Flying Robots" in Camshaft Machining Center - Courtesy of TranTek Automation
Automated System Uses Overhead Gantry Robot & Deburring Robot To Machine Parts - Courtesy of Matrix Design
Two Overhead Machine Tending Robots Load/Unload Four FANUC ROBODRILL Machine Tools

Intelligent Functions for Robotic Machine Tending

Innovative Boring Mill System Uses FANUC Robot to Load Heavy Parts - Courtesy of Weldon Solutions

Expand your vision - Manufacturers with proven expertise in vision systems can equip robots with intelligent vision options that make a vast array of machine tending operations possible. Options often include 2D vision for part location, 3D vision for part detection, positioning and orientation, visual line tracking for conveyors and area sensors for bin picking. Vision can also be incorporated for error proofing and visual inspection.


Machine Tool Loading with FANUC M-10iA Robot - Courtesy of Gosiger Automation

Safety you can't see - On robots equipped with safety area sensing devices, Dual Check Safety Speed and Position Check enables you to dispense with traditional space-taking constraints such as fences and safety hardware. Instead, this functionality restricts the robot to specific zones and by slowing it down, enables the operator to enter the work envelope without shutting down production.

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Integrated Manufacturing Solutions

Did you know?

For a truly integrated machining solution, partner your FANUC robot with FANUC CNCs or General Motion Controls. With streamlined communications and the industry's best reliability, nothing beats a truly automated machining system from FANUC.

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