Robot Cell for Heavy Workloads

June 15, 2019

The Fastems RoboCell One sets new standards in relation to extremely adaptable and flexible machining, particularly heavy workpieces within batches of different sizes. The easy-to-configure robot cell is primarily designed for handling heavy workpieces weighing up to 176 lb. (80 kg) and for automating up to two machine tools of the same type – either lathes or milling machines. The solution consequently comes into its own at the point where existing automation systems reach their limits solely due to the maximum weight of the workpiece. 


The RoboCell One has been specifically developed for the flexible production of different batch sizes including a wide variety of components. A special feature of the robot cell is an optional, automated gripper change system for the flexible handling of workpieces and the simple implementation of new components – without interrupting production operations. The robot can accordingly be fitted with single, double, or special grippers. Up to six different grippers may be used for handling workpieces in specific production operations. 


A single robot that can be operated in one linear axis is able to supply two machines with workpieces in a flexible manner. Further, different products can be simultaneously produced by using both machines together. To accomplish this scenario, the robot automatically changes its grippers for loading/unloading the respective unit. The result is the optimal use of machine capacity, even when orders are frequently altered. 


Above all, through its use in combination with the Fastems Manufacturing Management Software (MMS) for controlling the robot cell and the machines that are connected to it, RoboCell One provides virtually unrivaled advantages for production operations. The MMS automatically plans the entire production process based on the production orders, including the changes of workpieces for batches of different sizes, and taking account of all the resources that are needed. In addition, the software shows the current production status in real time (order progress, schedule, etc.), it calculates the machinery capacities for outstanding orders, and it shows the operator in advance the machinery retooling operations that are needed. This means that not only are production costs per workpiece reduced, throughput times are also cut thanks to the anticipatory MMS detailed planning.  


When the RoboCell One is first switched to the production of a new workpiece, virtually no knowledge of robotics is required. This greatly simplifies production, especially in the case of groups of components. Instead of the robot having to be laboriously taught, it is configured through parametric programming via the MMS. The necessary values and/or parameters for workpiece handling are stored in the control system via the intuitive MMS interface. This means that new parts master data and orders can be produced both quickly and simply during production operations, i.e. whilst the machine is actually running. 


Another major benefit of the RoboCell One's versatile productivity is the option of incorporating additional processes, for example, a measuring machine or a marking system, within the automation system. 


  • Strong performance, particularly on two machine tools of the same type (lathe or milling machine), since the robot can move on a linear axis between the two machines
  • Easy accessibility of machine tools and tool magazine for manual operations thanks to flexible cell layout
  • Easy to uncouple either of the two machine tools without affecting the ongoing process
  • Connection of a second machine to the cell possible at a later time
  • Automated gripper change system for equipping the robot with single, double or special grippers (optional)
  • Increased productivity through optional integration of additional processes, such as integration of a measuring machine or a marking system
  • Simple setup of new parts with parametrical programming and without special knowledge of robots
  • Intuitive MMS user interface for fast and easy creation of new part master data and orders
  • Detailed planning of production in real time
  • Powerful reporting features for improved transparency and prompt reactions to problems, bottlenecks or excess capacities
  • Completion forecasts for production orders
  • Information about impending required retooling processes