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The automation challenge was to load blanks into and remove finished parts from two very large turning-milling centers, while leaving the machining-centers as accessible as possible to the employees. The application presented several challenges, including the irregular shape and heavy weight of the blanks and the positioning and spacing of the machining centers.

The systems integrator Roth Technik provided a solution to their customer by building a system that incorporates an overhead seventh axis in the form of a robot-controlled rail on which the FANUC M-900iB/360E arm rides. The M-900iB has a 360 kg payload capacity. The solution included automatic gripper changing.

BRUDERER now accomplishes in five hours less per day per machine than the same tasks required before the automation solution. The automation enables BRUDERER to continue unattended production overnight and during weekends. They are so pleased with the results they will soon order another system just like this one.


BRUDERER is a market leader in making high-performance stamping presses, located in the city of Frasnacht, Switzerland, on the shores of Lake Constance. They have 500 employees worldwide.

BRUDERER builds highly accurate stamping machines for a worldwide market with a nominal force of 180 to 2500 kN and a stroke rate range of 100 to 2000 rpm. Their machines are used to produce parts used in watches, electronics, and a variety of other industries.

Roth Technik designed a solution for BRUDERER that employs the six-axes, heavy payload M-900iB/360E because the application involved handling blank workpieces weighing up to 200 kg. The 360 kg capacity of the M-900iB handles this nicely while providing an extra margin of capability for even heavier loads if the need arises. The robot provides floor and ceiling mounting options, making it ideal for installing on the seventh axis rail that was custom-built by Roth Technik.

Using the overhead rail maximized the accessibility of the machining stations, which was a stated goal for Bruderer. The rail keeps the robot off the floor and out of the way. The flexible 6 axes give the robot the ability to reach down to the machining centers, inserting blanks and removing finished parts in a completely automatic operation.

Roger Müller, Head of Machining at BRUDERER, describes the difficulties with this particular automation task.

"The challenge was that we did not have clearly defined external contours, as we mainly have to machine cast and forged blanks. In addition, we work with small batch sizes and high weights of up to 200 kg per individual part. This automation is to equip two turning-milling centers and must remain as accessible as possible so that the employees find an attractive workplace. With Roth Technik, we have found an integrator who has mastered these challenges perfectly." 


Markus Roth, CEO of Roth Technik commented on the solution.

"We have been using FANUC robots for years because they offer the best possibilities for us as an integrator in terms of kinematics, payloads, safety options with DCS, and the options to integrate axes directly. In this system, we have fully automated the machine tending of two very large turning-milling centers as part handling. We did this with a FANUC M-900iB/360E robot with 360 kg payload. This is mounted on a self-developed and built 7th axis, a robot rail with a length of 18 metres. Thanks to the safe workspace monitoring called DCS, Dual Check Safety, it allows safe operation."

BRUDERER is very pleased with the results, and Roger Müller comments:

"This automation solution brings us the following advantages: We save 5 hours time per day and per machine, we can manufacture unmanned over the night and the weekend, and the employees have resources free for more exciting activities. In addition, we can react to fluctuations in capacity utilization."