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The Form Of CNC Machine Tool Manipulator


In the context of CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machine tools, a manipulator refers to a mechanical device or robot that performs automated tasks, such as loading and unloading workpieces, tool changing, and material handling.

CNC machine tool manipulators are designed to enhance the productivity and efficiency of machining processes by reducing manual intervention and optimizing workflow. There are several forms of CNC machine tool manipulators, each tailored to specific tasks and applications. Here are some common forms of CNC machine tool manipulators:

Automatic Tool Changers (ATC)

An automatic tool changer is a common form of CNC machine tool manipulator that automates the process of changing cutting tools during machining operations. It typically consists of a tool magazine that holds multiple cutting tools and a robotic arm or carousel mechanism that retrieves and inserts tools into the machine’s spindle. ATCs allow for rapid tool changes, minimizing downtime and improving machining efficiency.

Workpiece Handling Systems

Workpiece handling systems are manipulators designed to load and unload workpieces onto the CNC machine’s worktable. These systems can be simple pneumatic or hydraulic clamping devices, robotic arms, or conveyor systems that facilitate the transfer of workpieces in and out of the machine.

Gantry Loaders

Gantry loaders are often used in CNC machining centers for loading and unloading heavy workpieces. They consist of a gantry structure with a robotic arm or mechanical gripper that can pick up and position workpieces onto the machine’s worktable.

Articulated Robotic Arms

Articulated robotic arms are versatile manipulators commonly used in CNC machine tool applications. These robots have multiple joints, allowing them to perform complex movements and tasks, such as tool handling, deburring, and part inspection.

Pallet Changers

Pallet changers are designed to hold multiple workpieces on separate pallets or fixtures. The pallets can be exchanged automatically, enabling continuous machining while the operator sets up the next batch of workpieces offline.

Conveyor Systems

Conveyor systems are used in CNC machine tools to move workpieces along a predetermined path. They can be integrated with the machine’s automation system to streamline material handling and workflow.

Bar Feeders

Bar feeders are manipulators designed specifically for CNC turning machines. They automate the process of feeding long bar stock into the lathe’s spindle, allowing for continuous machining of multiple parts without manual reloading.

Each form of CNC machine tool manipulator serves a specific purpose in enhancing automation and productivity. The selection of the appropriate manipulator depends on the specific machining tasks, workpiece characteristics, and the level of automation required for a particular CNC machine tool. Integrating manipulators into CNC machine tools can significantly improve the overall efficiency and throughput of the machining process.

In automatic tool changing CNC machine tools, there are also various forms of manipulators, and several common forms are:

Single-Arm Single-Claw Rotary Manipulator


The arm of this kind of manipulator can be rotated at different angles for automatic tool change. There is only one gripper on the arm. Whether on the tool magazine or on the spindle, the tool is loaded and unloaded by this gripper, so the tool change time is relatively short. long.

CNC Machine Bed Arm Double-Claw Swing Manipulator


There are two gripping jaws on the arm of this kind of manipulator, and the two upper gripping jaws have division of labor, and one gripping jaw only performs the task of removing the “old tool” from the spindle and returning it to the tool magazine. The other claw performs the task of taking out the “new tool” from the tool magazine and sending it to the spindle. The tool change time is less than the above-mentioned single-claw rotary manipulator.

CNC Machine Single Arm Double Claw Rotary Manipulator


The two ends of the arm of this kind of manipulator have a gripper, and the two grippers can simultaneously pick up the tool on the tool magazine and the spindle, and rotate 180 degrees. Afterwards, the fork simultaneously puts the tool back into the tool magazine and into the spindle. The tool change time is shorter than the above two single-arm manipulators, and it is the most commonly used form.

Double Manipulators Of CNC Machine Tools


This kind of manipulator is equivalent to two single-claw manipulators, which cooperate with each other for automatic tool change. One of the robots removes the “old tool” from the spindle and sends it back to the tool magazine; the other robot takes out the “new tool” from the tool magazine and loads it into the machine tool spindle.

Double-Arm Reciprocating Cross-Type Manipulator For CNC Machine Tools


The two arms of this manipulator can reciprocate and cross at a certain angle. One arm removes the “old tool” from the spindle and sends it back to the tool magazine, and the other arm takes out the “new tool” from the tool magazine and loads it into the spindle. The entire manipulator can move linearly along a certain guide rail or rotate around a certain axis to realize the tool movement between the tool magazine and the spindle.

Double-Arm End Face Clamping Manipulator Of CNC Machine Tool


This kind of manipulator is different from the previous ones in the clamping part. The former types of manipulators all rely on clamping the outer surface of the tool handle to grab the tool, and this type of manipulator clamps the two end faces of the tool handle.


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