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5 Surprising Things You Can Do With A RoboDrill

Posted by Anne Winslow on Feb 4, 2015 2:30:00 PM

things you can do with a robodrill

Fanuc’s RoboDrills are little machines with big capabilities.  While the name calls to mind a drill and tap, the RoboDrill can often do the work of a milling machine or a VMC.  This flexibility, along with their speed and accuracy, has led to widespread adoption in industries ranging from automotive to medical.  Still, many people don't know just how versitile these machine tools can be.  Here are a few things you can do with a RoboDrill that you might have missed:


1. Machine Complex Parts From Start to Finish

Like the puppy who wants to run with the big dogs, RoboDrills are 30-tapers with 40-taper dreams. Their surprisingly rigid design, combined with up to 52 ft-lbs of spindle torque, allow these machines take heavier cuts than similar 30-taper models. Add rigid tooling they can mill steel alloys and titanium with precision. A 4th or even 5th axis allows for advanced contouring, and refined finishes are achieved through Fanuc’s CNC programs. Shops that take advantage of all these functions can complete small and medium size workpieces entirely on these compact machines.

2. Complete Jobs Faster

Feel the need for speed? Every component of the RoboDrill is designed to be fast, resulting in blink-and-you-missed-it short machining times. The axes take the term rapid traverse to a whole new level at 2,125 inches per minute, and the ATC on the popular T21-iFa series can swap tools in 1.6 seconds chip-to-chip.  The spindle clocks in at 24,000 RPM.  Check out this video to get a feel for just how fast these machines really are.

3. Prototyping and Short Runs

Quick set-ups, combined with the capabilities and speed mentioned above, make RoboDrill a great machine for short runs or prototype work.  Furthermore, the relatively low cost of these machines lets machine shops bid competitively while maintaining their margin. 

4. Get Parts and Support

Fanuc has one of the best service reputations in the industry, so if things go wrong, you don’t have to go it alone.  For example, they provide parts and support for their CNC systems for 25 years and have a 24-hour technical support line for their machines.  And as a truly global company, you can find a service technician whether your shop is in Boston or Bulgaria.

5. Automation and Lights-Out Manufacturing

Creating cells with Fanuc robots not only reduces cycle time but also allows the shop to churn out parts (and hopefully profit) without adding an additional shift. This video demonstration from Fanuc America Corporation shows a cell created with one Fanuc LR Mate robot and two RoboDrills: 




RoboDrills are affordable compared other 4- and 5-axis machines, and shops can save even more by buying a high-quality used machine.  Our partner site, Machine Tool Bids, currently has several machines from 1999 available in an online auction closing Thursday, July 30, 2015. Click below to view these machines, or fill out our Find a Machine form to be notified when other RoboDrills are available.




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Topics: Fanuc