Programming Plus Inc. (PPI), a leading value added reseller of complex milling processes, has introduced the PPI Robotic Machining CellÅ (RMC). The RMC system is a new technology designed to revolutionize large format five-axis machining. Utilizing the speed, accuracy, and flexibility of KUKA Robotics’ robots and extensive programming and simulation capabilities of Delcam’s PowerMILL software, PPI has developed its machining system that allows customers to program and machine products more efficiently and cost effectively than current large CNC machines.
"The RMC system allows customers to program and machine products that were too cost prohibitive, complex, or time consuming to machine in the past," says Tom Bentley, president of Programming Plus. "The RMC’s user can now easily program any three- or five-axis part and switch from part to part in a matter of minutes, where previous technology required hours or even days."
The RMC system is the only robotic machining cell that offers all the functionality of a traditional CNC machining center. The RMC utilizes a tool changing high speed spindle, laser tool probe, and laser part probing. Using a CAM system which is included with the cell, the user can easily program any three- or five-axis part. The RMC system uses Delcam’s PowerMILL software to translate CAD/CAM files to be used to program the robot. The routines developed within the software quickly produce programs for the robots that allow smooth machining of large components. The system can utilize multiple KUKA robot models depending on the customer’s needs and can be configured to reach up to a 24′ diameter. Utilizing robots gives the user a larger work envelope and a much lower cost than conventional five-axis machine tools. One system can mill from one position two, three, four, or even more parts stationed around it, and in many cases it can load its own parts. For additional travel capability the robot can also be mounted on a linear rail.
Reconfigurable FlexSmart input modules, which easily snap into the logger, greatly simplify the process of connecting a wide range of Onset and third-party sensors. System measurements include True RMS AC current and voltage, power demand (kW) and energy consumption (kWh), differential air pressure, pulse and contact closure, gauge pressure, as well as plug-and-play sensors for measuring temperature, relative humidity, and other environmental conditions. Once a sensor has been connected to a module and configured using Onset’s easy-to-use HOBOwareÅ software, the settings for that sensor are stored into the module’s memory. This allows the logger to automatically recognize the sensor the next time it is used.