Innovative, integrated workpiece-pallet handling automation is set to revolutionize manufacturing processes in the long term
For Acubez, this year’s EMO is an important milestone along the growth path of modular automation: At the world’s leading trade fair for production technology from September 18 to 23, 2023, the company intends to present the latest developments from the “Automated Cubes” cosmos live to the public for the first time. As a highlight, a whole range of innovative products can be expected that expand the spectrum of automated workpiece handling with the addition of substantial pallet handling functionalities and which integrate seamlessly into the solution provider’s existing modular portfolio. For the trade show premiere and beyond for the future of manufacturing, Acubez announces a revolution in workpiece to pallet handling with holistic automation from A to Z.
How exactly the specialist for compact, modular and smart manufacturing automation wants to lead pallet handling into the future will be live for the industry at EMO 2023 in Hannover. In Hall 9, Booth B45, Acubez® kindly invites the inclined public to witness the prelude to a new dimension of efficient and sustainable manufacturing. The significant change in automated machine tending lies in the seamless combination of workpiece and pallet handling. With proven modularity, high flexibility and adaptability, and seamless end-to-end coverage of production processes, Acubez is ushering in a new era of efficiency and productivity.
Acubez: Automation from A to Z
Acubez has long been known for exceptional modular workpiece handling solutions that enable manufacturers to benefit from particular versatility and efficiency in their production processes. Now, the company is taking another game-changing step forward with the addition of pallet handling to its offering. The comprehensive expansion enables Acubez to offer seamless integration of workpiece and pallet handling in a single, cohesive system.
With a strong commitment to modularity, adaptability and wide-ranging coverage of manufacturing processes, Acubez is on a mission to redefine efficiency, productivity and sustainability in automation and provide manufacturers with a holistic, flexible and modular solution to their changing needs.
Acubez pallet handling includes storage and loading solutions, various pallet variants, workpiece to pallet loading and additional innovative clamping system activation features.
- Loading and unloading workpieces onto vises:
Acubez® Workpiece Pallet Loading (WplCube™)
- Pallet types:
Acubez® Vise Pallets (AVP), Acubez® General Use Pallets (AGP) and Acubez® Convertible Pallets (ACP)
- Clamping system interface:
Pallet handling expands established module spectrum by decisive facets
Acubez makes the difference, because the modular spectrum of “Automated Cubes” offers unique advantages and an exclusive combination of features. The individual components of the Acubez product family cover a wide range of different CNC applications precisely and accurately. Thus, the company offers the most compact modular system automation for wide-ranging application fields with the highest precision.
Thanks to plug-and-play configuration and the Self-Identification System (SIS™), the solution is scalable as needed and thus both future-proof and amortized within a short period of time. From previous project successes, Acubez customers report a typical ROI within 9 to 12 months. The modular product portfolio also creates the ideal conditions for the special challenges of high-mix, low-volume production.
Founded on the well-proven Acubez technology, the newly developed pallet handling systems are the core of the company’s presence at this year’s trade show in Hannover, Germany. The comprehensive program range of the end-to-end solution is built on the same modular foundation as all existing products and fits harmoniously into the intelligent ecosystem. The modules and tools for pallet handling do not simply represent an extension of the product portfolio, but open up a completely new scope of applications that is significant for the future of the automated manufacturing industry.
Pallet Range seamlessly combines workpiece machining and pallet loading
To achieve the overall goal of fully automating machining processes and workflows, Acubez has equipped the Pallet product family with a number of highly advantageous features and characteristics.
In conjunction with the robust design and flexible functionality, Acubez pallets feature an integrated airflow for external integrative activation of the with Acubez SelfLock™ equipped zero-point-clamping systems as well as an airflow for chip removal. Continuous, coordinated removal of contaminants ensures smooth operation and uninterrupted manufacturing processes, as well as the longevity of the technology.
To ensure that all specific automation requirements are met, Acubez pallets have been developed as three different types. All pallet types are handled using the Acubez Pallet Gripper, and the pallets with different functionalities are all compatible with Acubez SelfLock™.
Universal, individual and “exciting” – The AVP, AGP and ACP pallet types
Acubez® Vise Pallets (AVP) provide an interface for commonly used 52×52 vises from LANG Technik, HWR Spanntechnik, 5th Axis and other workholding manufacturers. The vise mounted on the pallet enables efficient and safe machine tending.
With General Use Pallets (AGP), Acubez offers a universal, multifunctional pallet configuration for a variety of workpiece and fixture requirements. The AGP pallet series is equipped with a standardized M6x1 mounting interface for high flexibility in applications such as die casting, inspection and laser marking.
Acubez responds to highly individual requirements with Convertible Pallets (ACP). The pallets of the ACP type are characterized above all by their customization options for tailor-made solutions. These have been specifically developed so that customizations can be made particularly quickly and efficiently by the customer, independently. Thanks to these convertible pallets, there are thus virtually no limits to the user’s own modifications to the unique workpiece holding fixture suited for automated machine tending.
Acubez Pallet Gripper: Everything under grip with valuable features and innovative SelfLock™ technology
The Acubez Pallet Gripper is the interface between the robotic arm and the three pallet types AVP, AGP and ACP. It is an integral part of the Acubez End-of-Arm-Tooling (EOAT) gripper system, including automatic gripper change via Acubez GripperCube. The Pallet Gripper is designed for up to 8 kg pallet load.
Using optical sensor technology, the Pallet Gripper detects obstacles and thus ensures controlled and hazard-free loading cycles. The gripper also provides the compressed air flow for cleaning the work area and, if necessary, together with the Acubez SelfLock™ adapter, for external activation of the zero point clamping system in the machine.
Logical logistics: Acubez PalletCubes for maximum flexibility and new capacities
The “Storage” or also magazine for pallets is formed by the PalletCubes available in Classic and Max versions. Thanks to SIS™ technology, the racking solutions for pallets and workpieces are quickly and easily integrated into the software environment and the shopfloor layout in the most efficient plug-and-play mode. The reliable and precise connectivity between PalletCubes and the rest of the modular infrastructure creates efficient automation processes intuitively and without programming requirements.
With the PalletCube Classic accommodating 6 to 25 pallets and the PalletCube Max accommodating up to 40 pallets, Acubez provides a high level of automation with minimal manual intervention. Furthermore, the system’s capacity can be expanded by connecting multiple PalletCubes, such as linking three PalletCube Max units to achieve a total capacity of 120 pallets.
For smaller capacities of 4 to 5 workpieces, Acubez also offers variable pallet rack add-ons. Last but not least, the PalletCubes portfolio includes a station for checking workpiece sizes, which can also be seamlessly integrated into the overall automation solution on request.
Acubez WplCube™: Economic loading solution with a high degree of automation
This module also delivers the distinguishing attributes typical of Acubez, such as seamless integration, modular design, plug-and-play functionality, and high compatibility within the Acubez module family.
Specifically, the WplCube™ for pallet loading and unloading ensures a high level of automation by eliminating the manual process of inserting workpieces into the pallet vise. Thus, the system achieves a comprehensive and complete automated workflow for machine loading.
Continuous processing of workpieces achieves maximum machine utilization. The WplCube™ module, in combination with the traditional Acubez Lift- and StorageCube modules, plays a crucial role in increasing efficiency and capacity utilization. Furthermore, the use of this fully automated loading solution can significantly reduce the number of required clamping tools and pallets, further emphasizing the economic aspects of the module.
Innovative Acubez® SelfLock™ is based on insights and inspiration from in-house experience
Acubez SelfLock™ is the solution for integrating and controlling machines without automated clamping systems, thus completing the pallet handling portfolio. With the Self-Lock™ adapter, even machining centers that lack the typical control lines for clamping systems can be automated. The Acubez SelfLock™ adapter is compatible with renowned clamping system manufacturers such as Lang Technik, 5th Axis, Kurt, HWR, or Gressel.
The innovative Acubez SelfLock™ adapter, acts as a bridge to enable the external activation of a standardized zero-point clamping system base. The clamping system base forms the interface between the machine table and the clamping device. With the adapter, pneumatic activation of the clamping system can be brought about by the Acubez® PalletGripper (EOAT) – in parallel with the insertion of the pallet and/or vise into the machine. This eliminates the need for permanent control lines as well as special robot arm maneuvers.
This technology proves particularly valuable for 5-axis machining centers that do not have the typical control lines for activating a clamping system through the machine table. Acubez SelfLock™ thereby enables efficient and flexible automatization of machining operations even for those machines that were previously considered impossible to automate.
EMO is calling: Experience live now how Acubez® closes the gaps
Joshua Ulmer, Acubez founder and CEO, is looking forward to the exhibition and the future of comprehensive automation of machine loading: “We are convinced that our pallet handling solutions will close a major gap in the sustainability of industrial CNC manufacturing. As meticulous and complex our development work on the new, trend-setting solutions has been, they ultimately have a more intuitive and insightful effect on the user in real operation. And that is exactly what makes our automation solution so special. We would like to welcome you, dear EMO guests, to this experience at our booth.”
To stay up to date on Acubez® innovations and successes beyond EMO Hannover, interested parties are invited to follow the modular automation solution provider on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/acubez