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Photo courtesy DMG Mori


AUTOMATION


A DMG Mori FMS showing the transport vehicle on a rail and two-level pallet storage. By implementing a standard pallet and common machines, the central control can assign any job to any machine as circumstances dictate.


Linear Pallet Systems: Straight Road to Profi tability?


Improved software gives linear pallet systems a major boost


Ed Sinkora Contributing Editor


A


dam Hansel, chief systems and sales offi cer, DMG Mori (Hoffman Estates, IL) sums it up perfectly: “Go into any shop. Ask them if they want to automate. The answer is yes. 100%.” But what kind of automation? And which


machines and processes? For a wide variety of companies, the logical answer is a linear pallet system that integrates multiple metalcutting machines, and possibly additional operations. On the other hand, “logical” doesn’t always mean “easy” or “worry free.”


Don’t Confuse FMS with Pallet Pool Systems A basic linear pallet system, also known as a fl exible manu- facturing system (FMS), automates the loading and unloading of one or more machining centers with workpieces from a central storage location. The workpieces travel on a straight rail, carried by a vehicle with additional axes of motion that enable it to move the work into a machine and onto its table and out again when fi nished. Operators set up jobs at a central station, not at the


August 2017 | AdvancedManufacturing.org 67


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