Systems for automation

Mounting cost pressure and increasing production quantities inevitable lead to an automation of mass productions on matters of feeding and unloading workpieces. Depending on the complexity of the system or the workpiece varying solutions are needed. They range from spiral conveyors through conveyor belts, rotary transfer machines or separators up to industrial robots for positioning parts in a proper orientation.

PENTACON has a versatile range of experience in designing machine vision systems. Unlike manual workplaces for random tests, testing and evaluating mass productions require numerous samples within a short period of time. This can be automated and even today there are several intelligent and cost efficient ways to automate the feed.

Automation of a thread-rolling machine

For the mass production of profile rolled Swiss-turned parts of a thread-rolling machine type Typ2-PR 15 CNC-S of Profiroll an automated feeding had to be designed to lower the cycle time below 4 seconds by at the same time increasing the output drastically.


Starting with the assumption that the turned parts are supplied in industrial trays, we designed an initial solution for the automated control with two robots. The six axis robot was in charge of feeding the system and discharging the final part into the tray again. The second Scara Robot took care of the precisely oriented feeding into the thread-rolling machine. To reach the targeted cycle time we chose a 6-axis robot from Stäubli. The control between robot and system was done with a Siemens SPS control (Simatik S7-1200). The signal exchange between thread-rolling machine and SPS control was done via standard interfaces.

Operating principle

The turned parts are placed oriented into an industrial tray and placed into the machine by an operator who also removes them after completion. The robots inside of the thread rolling machine are covering fully automated the whole processing of the turned parts, its feeding and discharging. After the profile rolling the parts will be tested optically and sorted automatically.

The system is designed to work autonomously for at least one hour and is targeted at feeding and discharging of turned parts. The cycle time is around 3.7 seconds and thus fell below the required cycle time.