As manufacturing continues to expand and evolve, solutions to be smarter, more flexible, and increase productivity are required. CNC machine shop manufacturing facilities have a limited amount of floor space. With machining centers, materials, tooling, automation, finished product, chips/waste, inventory, inspection equipment, packing/shipping, material moving vehicles, personnel and others consuming the shop floor, solutions need to be explored. As automation, lights out operation is becoming necessary to keep up with demand and deliver the greatest return, making use of all available space is the next focus.
The concept is to elevate the automation, material stock, loading/unloading, finished part placement and delivery to inspection processes. Moving these to the space over and above the machinery. By applying technology, design the shop floor with an elevated rail system, with a twin rail design, robots can traverse along from machine to machine supplying loading, unloading functions from overhead. A second rail system either under or beside the robot rail line will supply materials and move finished product to inspections or packing/shipping area. Increasing Shop Floor Efficiency and Production will be the Shop of the Future.