Integrating legacy CNC machines into a smart factory: Page 4 of 5

January 24, 2020 //By Lucas Hale
CNC machines
Does moving towards the smart factory mean scrapping your existing CNC grinding machines and having to invest in a whole new set of machinery? Not at all! But it does mean upgrading some of your technology and changing the way you think about how you operate.

Move forward one step at a time

Don’t worry – you don’t need to do all of this at once and there are easy ways to add automation functionality:

  • Add after-market software or hardware accessories, such as lasers to measure tools in production and make sure they’re meeting required design and tolerances. 

  • Retrofit with automation, robotic loaders mean lower costs and greater volumes. You can have a new robotic loader at a reasonable price installed into your machine to achieve the benefits of lights out or unattended machine production.

  • Enable machine connectivity on older machines through WIFI adaptor and software drivers to connect machines to each other and the wider factory.

  • Store tool files centrally with tools and wheel servers.  Maintaining a database of each tool file that a machine can use for setup and are a great place to start with software. Your factory can store a whole range of files centrally, so each machine can access what it needs to get the process going.

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