Doosan Has Robotic Cells for Every Machining Need

To automate, or not to automate. That is the question. With apologies to Mr. Shakespeare, automation and robotic cells are on the minds of most machine shop owners today. The hesitation may be due to cost, space considerations or downtime during installation and operator training. The purpose of this article is to address these issues and make your decision a little easier. In fact, we’re going to make it hard for you to say “no.”

Based on customer feedback, we’ve expanded our offerings at the top and bottom end and now offer an entire range of automated solutions to fit your particular needs.

Single Machine Tending: The Agile Flex

If you are still on the fence as far as automation goes, let us introduce you to our new entry-level system, the Agile Flex. It’s made for us by our partners at Agile Robotic Systems. They are a third-generation family business with over 70 years in machine tools, and over 40 years in automation and robotics.

The Agile Flex is ideal for shops that don’t have a lot of space, but want to move parts in and out of their turning center faster, or with less operator involvement. It pairs 1 Doosan machine with 1 robot to offer maximum productivity right out of the box. It’s affordable, compact, flexible and configurable. This system is perfect for increasing throughput of pre-cut round bar stock.

The robotic component is the celebrated FANUC M20iA which is known for its world class reliability thanks to the best support coverage possible. The End of Arm Tooling (EOAT) includes twin 3-Jaw Grippers with quick change jaws, compliance, pressure control and an air blast function.

A fenceless safety feature allows free access to the CNC machine.

Parts Storage

The Agile Flex is available in pallet or drawer versions. The single layer pallet model suits longer cycle times and holds parts up to and above 6” in length and 6” in diameter. The multi-layer drawer version comes with 2-8 drawers (4 is standard) which increases continuous run times. It also holds parts 6” in diameter. Length will depend on the number of drawers but runs between 0.4” to 12”. An optional top pallet provides additional run time and accommodates longer parts.

Agile Flex Configurations

With the smallest footprint we offer, the parallel configuration suits most customer needs. It allows access to parts from the front and the system continues to work whenever the operator is the safety zone.

While it has a larger footprint, the 90-degree configuration allows access to parts from the front and back, which makes it perfect for cutting down cycle times. With this configuration, the operator can load and unload parts while the robot and CNC machine continue to run.

Agile Flex Cell Controller

Programming is done with the Agile Cell Controller. It was developed from the ground up by Agile Robotics with easy to use, visually rich graphical interface. In fact, it’s so user-friendly that you can set up a new process in-house in only minutes. Simply drag and drop process modules from the available list into the Agile Process Builder and a step-by-step wizard will guide you through the rest of the set up.

Multi-Machine Tending: The DooCell

What if you want to run horizontal and turning operations at the same time and move completely finished parts out of the cell? That’s what happens when you step up to the Doosan DooCell. Let’s recap the features of this highly flexible multi-machining automation system.

The DooCell has a modular design that allows you to mix and match 1 to 2 new or existing Doosan machine(s) into different configurations for maximum flexibility. The robot is a FANUC M10, M20, M170 depending on your workpiece payload.

All that comes in a compact design that will fit in spaces smaller than you might think. Cell design, build and testing is all done by Doosan professional engineers for smooth operation. It comes with simple robot/machine interface with ethernet I/P or FANUC I/O Link. Installation includes teaching robot pickup and drop off points. The base can be moved in one piece with a forklift for ease of relocation. The unit is leveled and bolted to the floor, allowing the robot to run at higher speeds if needed.

Adaptable Robot Tooling

The End of Arm Tooling (EOAT) for the robot includes 2 grippers – 1 for the raw part that includes a parts-pusher to securely place the part on the chuck or workholding of the machine, and 1 for the finished parts. The included EOAT will have custom designed gripper fingers to meet your specific workholding application, so you can be confident your parts are securely handled by the robot. The EOAT also features a design to reduce or eliminate potential robot singularity issues; it also features air-blow and integrated connections. Give us a sample part and we’ll make the EOAT to match.

Want to run a new part? We’ll work with you on retooling. Don’t worry if you run a large range of part sizes or types (slugs, shafts or bar-fed). We can provide quick-change Gripper fingers or a Gripper Changer Stand for fast EOAT changes.

Safety Plus

A light curtain prevents the operator from entering the automated side of the drawer area when the robot is in operation. In fact, the entire DooCell is guarded by fencing to ensure worker safety. The fencing has an electronically interlocked operator access door using a Fortress lock. But do you know what really speeds things up? Easy operator accessibility to the CNC controls and operator side of the drawer unit from outside the cell.

Parts Storage

A 4-drawer puller/pusher is standard. The unit is bi-directional and the drawer insert can be customized to support a variety of different sized parts (diameters or irregular shapes).

The sturdy drawer unit has large part storage capacity in a compact area. Four drawers are standard, but you can get up to 6, depending on the part height:

Max part height:
3 drawers = 9.625”
4 drawers = 7.00” (Standard)
5 drawers = 5.50”
6 drawers = 4.50”

The setup is configured so that parts do not touch each other before or after being machined.

Easy Operation

Operating the DooCell is easy. It comes standard with a 12” (diagonally) touch panel. This touch panel HMI screen is attached to the fencing where it is easily accessible to the operator. It has screens that can start the robot cycle, reset robot faults, feed hold the robot, display each drawer status and display machine status. The ability to enter tool offsets from the HMI panel is also available.

The drawers open on both sides of the unit. The operator loads up the drawers with raw parts from outside the cell. The robot opens the drawer towards the inside of the cell and takes raw material out. After machining is completed, it places the finished pieces back in the drawer. The operator can then open the drawer again from the outside to remove the finished parts.

Custom Solutions

The top end of our automation systems is for those times when you're starting with a blank slate. You may be staring at a potential client’s part print with annual production quantities and realize that you need a more dedicated solution to meet that volume and keep your cost per part under control. In those situations, we can put together full turnkey systems with the following processes:

  • Turning and milling
  • Gaging, washing and marking
  • Optional accessories, workholding and tooling
  • Cpk and cycle time analysis

We deliver a total system ready to work. We handle all the sourcing so you don’t have the headache of dealing with multiple vendors and piecing equipment together to get the results you want.

With the amazing variety of automation systems we now offer, the question is no longer whether to automate, but “why not?” With all these choices, it might be hard to select the best options for you. Please contact us and we’ll be happy to help you put together the perfect cell.