HELLER automation solutions

Open to standards – flexible for individual solutions

The main purpose of automated manufacturing and production centers is to achieve a reduction in idle times, thus optimizing system availability. However, the requirements of the individual industries vary greatly, resulting in a wide range of different solutions available in the market. Meanwhile, a number of specialists have become well established in the market who co-operate with HELLER as part of a best-in-class partnership. In addition, HELLER offers proprietary automation solutions that will ideally combine with the highly productive HELLER machining centers.  

Automation solutions by and with HELLER always comprise customized concepts that we specifically develop to suit your production. We analyse your requirements and design a solution to provide you maximum added value. For this purpose, we draw on standardized solutions as far as possible. Technical options range from simple pallet changers or linear/round pallet storages to flexible loading robots right up to the combination with a rack system, also for tool storage.

Pallet automation

Pallet changer

First automation level, integrated into the machine. Perfect for serial production with medium and large lot sizes.

  • reliable, automatic pallet change with hydraulic lifting/swivelling drive
  • fast transportation between work area and workpiece setting station
  • setting of fixtures during workpiece machining
  • loading during machining by the operator or a robot
  • basis for further automation levels such as workpiece loading with robot or pallet automation
  • short pallet change time for highest productivity
  • compact system thanks to full integration in the machine
  • excellent safety, also when handling heavy payloads thanks to clamping system with fail-safe pallet clamping
  • ergonomic design with low loading sill for optimum access to fixture and workpiece

Options:

  • automatically rotated pallet
  • automatically actuated doors at workpiece setting station
  • pallet location check
  • media interface for hydraulic workpiece clamping
  • pneumatic unclamp/position control adjustable at main operating unit (IO link)

Linear storage

Automatic handling of pallets for optimized flexibility. Perfect for serial production with medium and large lot sizes.

  • automatic setting of pallets including fixture and workpiece
  • storing of machine pallets on up to 15 storage places per container depending on type and size
  • automatic pallet transportation between storage location, setting station and machine
  • organization of production jobs including administration and prioritization
  • control and monitoring of the production process by means of control technology
  • efficient production with a large parts mix and small batch sizes
  • loading of prepared pallets and fixtures from the container directly into the machine
  • maximum flexibility with changing production jobs (e.g. NC program or tool management)
  • optimal capacity utilization with continuous pallet feed to one or multiple machines
  • high storage capacity with low investment per storage place
  • standardized complete solutions for fast installation and commissioning

Options:

  • extension container
  • additional loading station(s)
  • various software packages and options
  • media interface for hydraulic workpiece clamping

Round storage

Automatic handling of pallets for optimized flexibility with low space requirement. Perfect for serial production with medium and large lot sizes.

  • automatic setting of pallets including fixture and workpiece
  • storage of machine pallets on up to 13 storage places depending on type and size
  • automatic pallet transportation between storage location, setting station and machine
  • organization of production jobs including administration and prioritization
  • control and monitoring of the production process by means of control technology
  • efficient production with high component variance
  • maximum flexibility with changing production jobs (e.g. NC program or tool management)
  • low space requirement thanks to compact design
  • loading of set-up pallets and fixtures from the storage directly into the machine
  • optimal capacity utilization with continuous pallet feed to one or two machines

Options:

  • extension: max. 7 additional storage places
  • interface for integration of a second machine
  • second loading station
  • media interface for hydraulic workpiece clamping
  • various software packages and options
  • automatically rotating setup station

Workpiece automation

Robot

Automatic loading and unloading of workpieces, fixtures and pallets as well as automation of additional handling jobs. Perfect for serial production with medium and large lot sizes.

  • workpiece handling with high process reliability of all parts from raw to finished
  • automatic loading of single and multiple setups in all machine types
  • automatic setting of pallets and fixtures as customer-specific solutions
  • linking of individual process steps and work stations inside the robot cell
  • implementation of further tasks such as deburring, brushing, cleaning, testing
  • automated 24/7 production with low component variance
  • customer-specific automation of one or several machines with a stationary or moving robot
  • small-footprint solution for optimum floor utilization
  • high process reliability thanks to repeatability and optimum robot availability
  • optimum utilization of machine capacity with continuous material supply and minimization of spindle downtimes
  • safe interaction thanks to defined interactions between operator and robot

Machine options:

  • standardized machine interface for robot loading onto the setting station
  • media interface for hydraulic workpiece clamping
  • location and unclamping check adjustable at main operating unit (IO link)

Linear gantry loader

Linking of plant components in production lines with maximum output. Perfect for serial production with short durations and highest production volume.

  • workpiece transportation between the plant components from raw to finished, with or without workpiece carrier
  • loading of the HELLER machining centres from top into the work area and automatic unloading after machining
  • loading of further plant components like measuring, washing, assembly, leak test, storage systems etc.
  • connection of individual linear gantries by ground-based conveying systems, such as conveyor belts and automated guided vehicles
  • control technology responsible for manufacturing process control and monitoring
  • optimal workpiece flow through project-specific configuration of linear axes (number and length)
  • agile automation system
  • fast workpiece exchange at the machining centers and system components
  • best possible utilization of space thanks to workpiece top transfer
  • optimum accessibility to all areas of the machine thanks to loading from above
  • minimal chip and coolant carryover

Tool automation

Background tool magazine

Central tool provision for several machines. Perfect for production systems with maximum of flexibility and automation.

  • automatic tooling of tools directly in the tool magazine by means of gantry loader
  • automatic tool transportation between background magazine and machine, as well as between the machines
  • central storage of tool set (number of tools according to customer requirement)
  • central tool management with current state of all tools in the tool magazine of the machines and in the background magazine
  • job-related investigation of the tool requirement under consideration of the tool state, the remaining tool life and the usage time as well as advance planning
  • integration into the higher-level control technology of the workpiece automation system for optimum order processing
  • maximum flexibility for changing production tasks
  • central storage of tools for all machines in the network
  • central tooling station for all machines in the network
  • reduced tool inventory due to order-related use of tools in different machines
  • optimum planning thanks to up-to-date information on the condition and availability of tools
  • automatic tool logistics and central tool provision
  • smaller tool magazines possible at the individual machines

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