Fully-Automated Cutting Tool Packaging Machine

Project Scope:

Fully-Automated Cutting Tool Packaging Machine

This project was presented to SDC in search of a cost effective, fully-automated cutting tool packaging machine that would increase production capacity and significantly decrease the amount of labor required for manufacturing. The cutting tool packaging process consisted of ultrasonic cleaning, laser engraving, rust prevention application, packaging tube assembly, labeling, and, shrink wrapping. The machine was capable was packing a wide variety of cutting tool diameters and lengths with minimal or no change-over.

PLC based machine controls

Automated cassette unloading

Vision inspection systems

Ultrasonic washing

Automated rust prevention application

Vibratory parts feeding

Automated labeling

Shrink wrapping

Robotic programming and parts handling

Complete machine safety system

The Solution:

SDC chose a machine layout that utilized a power and free pallet system for unloading the cutting tools from a variety of cassette configurations. A rotary indexing dial was utilized for the ultrasonic cleaning, inspection, and laser engraving operations. A linear indexer was utilized for the packaging assembly operations and labeling. The packaging tubes were introduced to the assembly platform using vibratory feeders. Packaged cutting tools were offloaded into a shrink-wrapping machine and then into bins. Robots were utilized for the pick and place mechanisms.
Processes and equipment were developed to execute each of the assembly steps. The result was a fully-automated cutting tool packaging machine with no direct labor. Lot tracking allowed automated changeover between products. The system significantly lowered the manufacturing costs of the packaged end mills and improved quality. SDC was successful in implementing automated inspection checks after each assembly operation and incorporated part tracking and automated sorting software.

900 completed assemblies per hour