100% Employee Owned, Founded 1954

100% Employee Owned, Founded 1954

CNC Machine Tending

The Cross Automated Machine Tending solution is designed to operate a CNC machine tending without constant manual operator interaction.  In today’s tight labor market, it’s increasingly difficult to find workers and keep them in repetitive, dull jobs. With a quick ROI period, this solution frees up these workers to do more complicated tasks that can’t be done through automation.

Cross’s Automated Machine Tending Solution uses two way handshaking to communicate directly to the CNC machine. It tells the machine when to run, receives a signal when it is done, operates the tool holder, and open/closes the doors.  When purchased with the standard carts, this solution is ready for deployment as soon as it arrives, with minimal pick and place programming required.

  • Features and Benefits
  • Technical Specs
  • ROI Analysis
  • End of Arm Tooling
  • Machine tending automation solution in actionMobile - entirely on casters so it’s easy to move from machine to machine
  • Communication with CNC machine is already figured out and completed
  • Utilizes a collaborative robot which eliminates the need for safety fencing in most applications.
  • Uses double access drawer system so parts are picked and placed from the same location. This allows for increased run-time without manual operator interaction

Optional Add-On Features

  • IoT with Reporting
  • Safety Scanner
  • WiFi Connectivity
  • Custom End-of-Arm-Tooling
  • Safety System Ready
  • OPC Connectivity
  • Training
  • On-site Start-up Support
  • Automated CNC Machine Tending 1Footprint: 21” x 41”
  • Cycle time will depend on the machining process. The robot
    will take 32 seconds to load/unload (add 16 seconds if the doors aren’t automated)
  • Max payload is 10 kg including end of arm tooling
  • Power: 110 VAC
  • Air: 80 PSI - used for pneumatic gripper and part blow off
  • 3 double access drawers so operator can load/unload parts without being in the way or stopping robot and process
  • Casters with leveling feet
  • Automated CNC Machine Tending 2CNC machine brands supported: contact us for a full list of manufacturers and supported features
  • UR programming required can be added on as a service

CNC Machine tending or operator is very common in almost all machine shops. It is typically a lower skill position than CNC machine programming and can be quite repetitive for high volume jobs. Automating this type of task only makes sense when the return on investment (ROI) is right. Most companies have their own requirements for an ROI timeframe varying from 1-3 years. A typical average is around 2 years for capital projects.

When looking at a robotic project and trying to decide if the initial cost is worth it, there are a few calculations that will help with this determination. Let’s take a look at the following scenario:

There is a single operator running a CNC machine on similar parts 8 hours/day. The typical cost of a CNC machine operator is $35/hour. This is the total burden rate of the operator as seen by the company and so it includes all of the benefits, vacation time, and any other associated costs. Assume the facility operates 2 shifts a day, 5 days a week, and 51 weeks a year (it is only closed a total of 1 week for holidays).

The last remaining question is how to utilize the manual operators that were running the machines. In smaller machine shops, a lot of times the person designing the parts and programming the machines may also be running the machines. Thus they are freed up to spend more time designing and programming. In other places where the two roles are clearly separated, the manual operators can be re-purposed for completely new tasks that aren’t possible to automate, increased quality checks, or used somewhere else in the production process where there is a bottleneck.

  • Specified based on part geometries
  • Mechanical, pneumatic, or vacuum
  • Is standard off the shelf in most situations
  • Learn more about Cross End of Arm Tooling options 

Interested in sharing or downloading for later reading? Download a PDF today! For more information about implementing a machine tending solution into your operation contact a Cross robotics expert to start a conversation! 

See how our automation team can help improve quality, increase efficiency, and reduce risk in your operation


End of Arm Tooling for a Range of Applications

Cross represents multiple providers and offers end of arm tooling for a variety of applications. Whether your operation is in need of robotic grippers for fragile goods,  a customized solution for a unique payload, or anything between; the Cross automation team has you covered! Take a look at our end of arm tooling offering and see how you can accompany our palletizing solution with robots elsewhere in your process.

Schunk palletizing robot with end of arm tool