In the metals industry, only a small percentage of computer numerical control, or CNC, machines are automatically fed components. Most of the world’s CNC machines rely on either a human operator or a robotic arm having to physically open and close their heavy doors every few minutes, according to Made4CNC ApS. Investing in a new fully automatic CNC machine or upgrading an older model can be difficult, both in practical and financial terms, it said.
“Around the world, the need for faster and greater automation is a major trend, and for it to succeed, less time must be spent on each installation,” said Peter Nadolny Madsen, CEO of Made4CNC. “With the SD100, we have integrated safety and robustness in a user-friendly solution, which we believe is the key to optimal productivity.”
Nadolny Madsen founded Made4CNC in January with investors Thomas Visti and Lasse Kieffer. The team played a central role in the global success of well-known Danish robot companies including Universal Robots, OnRobot, Purple Robotics, and Mobile Industrial Robots.
The startup is based at Visti Unlimited, an entrepreneurial co-working space in the robotics cluster of Odense, Denmark.
Safedoor SD100 automatically opens doors
Safedoor SD100. Source: Made4CNC
When automating CNC machines today, integrators often build homemade door-opening solutions, said Made4CNC. But that risks errors, stoppages, and hazardous situations because such systems typically require compressed air and are neither standardized nor tested.
The company claimed that its first official product removes the barriers to the automation of component feeding at machine shops. Made4CNC said the fully electric Safedoor SD100 includes built-in safety functions that enable an integrator to adjust the speed of the CNC door, making risk assessments easier to conduct.
Safedoor SD100 can open CNC doors that are up to 1 m (3.2 ft.) wide and weigh 400 kg (881 kb.), at a speed of 500 mm/s. The door opener can connect to any robot and CNC machine make via galvanic-insulated digital inputs and outputs, said Made4CNC.
Early adopters find value
Integration of collaborative robots or light industrial robots with existing CNC machines makes a lot of sense, said Nadolny Madsen, since automation can generate low risk and a short payback period for the customer.
Several end users and distributors have already learned of the “killer app” and have started deploying Safedoor SD100, said Made4CNC.
Integrator Nordelektro has installed two of the door-opening systems at Randers Tandhjulsfabrik.
“It took less than an hour for each CNC machine, and they are good and stable door openers,” reported Lars Bo Nielsen, factory manager at Randers Tandhjulsfabrik.
The ability to provide its customers with a standardized system that works out of the box was important for Nordelektro.
“Safedoor SD100 is a complete solution, which makes it simpler to work with automation,” said Jesper Storm Simonsen, sales manager at Nordelektro. “It is a huge advantage for us as an integrator. We don’t need to invent something complicated and expensive. We have minimum project risk.”
Investors expect global expansion
The investors in Made4CNC have shared their knowledge as well as funding. Kieffer has contributed his deep technological expertise, while Visti has provided market insight.
“Made4CNC has understood what is required to make the process easier,” said Visti. “It’s win-win-win for the end customers, employees, distributors, and the manufacturers. I therefore expect that Made4CNC will have established itself via robot distributors and integrators around most of the world in the next 12 months.”
Made4CNC just entered into agreement with its first American distributor, Thinkbot Solutions LLC in Austin, Texas.
“Safedoor SD100 makes having a job as a machine feeder much more pleasant and easy-going, while the employer will be able to optimize and get a better workflow,” said Philip Courtois, president of Thinkbot Solutions. “Others have tried unsuccessfully to develop a user-friendly door opener. Made4CNC has completely succeeded.”
“I have chosen to distribute SD100 because attention is given to all of the details in terms of the mechanics, software and safety,” he said, adding that the SD100 is certified by collaborative robot leader Universal Robots. “The UR+ certification ensures completely seamless integration with robots from Universal Robots. All operations can be done through the robot’s teach pendant.”
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