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HURCO: Automated loading solutions for small series

Photo by HURCO Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH

“As a neutral partner and solution provider, HURCO is always on the customer’s side when it comes to implementing a specific automation for one of our machines in a specific production,” emphasises Sebastian Herr, Application Support Manager at HURCO Germany. “As a machine builder, we think automation. With every software and hardware development, the interfaces of the HURCO control system are therefore optimised in order to easily connect the automation solutions of different manufacturers.”

Automation must earn money

Because each solution depends on the specific manufacturing task and the user’s infrastructure, there are no generally applicable rules for automation. At the same time, automation is becoming increasingly profitable for contract manufacturers of small and medium-sized series – also to relieve the time burden on their skilled workers. Automation means simplification,” Herr emphasises. “That’s why you must not ‘think apart’ automation. The more functions an automation system has to take on, the more complicated it becomes. This increases the price and the susceptibility to errors. Both contradict the purpose of automation. Basically, depending on its scope, an automation system should be written off and earn money in 2 to 5 years,” Herr says, coming back to automation solutions. For this, the potential of a concrete automation in combination with the machining centre and the applications must be worked out and economically classified, says Herr: “A good entry into automation is often offered by cobots, which work together with the operator as fast, easy-to-teach, flexible systems.” For more complex requirements, customised solutions for loading or pallet handling are an option.

The prerequisites for fast, application-oriented implementation of automation solutions are provided by the Windows-based operating system and the open-source MT-Connect interface of the HURCO machining centres. Network-supported DNC interfaces can be used for communication between the machines. “This network and interface architecture enables the individual adaptation of the automation systems to the needs of the user as well as the establishment of integrated manufacturing systems and blockchain solutions between contract manufacturers and clients,” emphasises Herr. The organisational tasks in automated production are then taken over either by a control system developed by HURCO or by a system brought along by the partner’s automation solution.

For more information, please visit: https://www.hurco.eu/news-media/news/