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Task:
Design more compact machines with its own human-machine interface and with automatic loading of parts and tools to feed the grinding and finishing systems.

Solution:
Thanks to the openness offered by the Fanuc Pictures interface, the Group's Research & Development department was able to develop the RECO and BULA HMIs (Human Machine Interface) and the articulated Fanuc LR Mate robots made it possible to create an automatic loading platform.

Result:
The new Recomatic CT501 machine with an automatic loading platform for parts and tools, equipped with an articulated Fanuc LR Mate robot that feeds the grinding and finishing systems.

For many industries, surface finishing is a guarantee for quality. In this respect, the Recomatic Group is a leading Swiss specialist. FANUC Switzerland is proud to support Recomatic in its technological and international development, both in numeric control machines and robotics.

Compact engines and opening controls 

The acquisition of Bula Technologie has allowed the Recomatic Group to successfully access the European markets in surface finishing, in addition to the automotive, aerospace, medical or high-end leather goods markets. Recomatic still preserves its speciality in the watchmaking, luxury and medical industries, and now seeks to extend its services internationally. Rectifying, polishing, satin finishing, deburring, stoning, grinding, and carding, are key words that explain the performance of the 17 machines in the BULA and RECO ranges. By the end of 2019, all CNC machines will be equipped with FANUC axis control and kinematics. Many of these will also include robots of the Japanese brand. The partnership between Recomatic and FANUC started back in 2006, which gradually built the strength it presents today.

“From the moment FANUC was able to supply us with smaller spindle motors and open interfaces, we were able to design more compact machines and our own human-machine interfaces” explains Christophe Rérat in his opening statement.


Thanks to the opening of the FANUC Pictures interface, the group’s Research & Development office has been able to develop the Human Machine Interfaces (HMI) RECO and HMI BULA. FANUC’s Focas libraries allow machine architects to access layers enabling their own modifications. Thus creating curves via points becomes possible and easy for the user. The FANUC CNC machine interfaces the manufacturer’s HMI on the screen. The BULA or RECO machine setting can directly access the graphical business applications defined by the Recomatic specialist engineer. “For a long time we wanted to create a partnership with FANUC, given the reliability of its equipment and the quality of its international service,” says Christophe Rérat. “In fact, a dozen years ago when we performed a complete assessment on the compactness of motors and opening of controls, this is what really convinced us to fully establish this partnership,” he emphasizes.

A team of highly qualified specialists assembles and tests RECO and BULA surface deburring, grinding, polishing and other finishing technologies.

The new Recomatic CT501 machine with a platform that automatically loads parts and tools, equipped with a FANUC LR Mate multi-function robot that feeds the grinding and finishing systems.

Compact robots and CNC connection

Bula Technology has been a pioneer in robotic polishing of the most complex forms. The Recomatic Group wants to include this legacy to create a technological consistency among the two ranges, in order to reach the highest levels in Industry 4.0. Already, FANUC LR Mate multi-function robots (4kg payload) have created a platform to automatically load parts and tools to feed grinding and finishing systems. “Robots are increasingly in demand in order to carry out additional operations,” says Stéphane Gisiger, technical sales representative of the Recomatic Group, during our visit to the workshops. Training on how to operate a FANUC robot is very fast, thanks to the ease of its intuitive control. Our representatives ensure that two days of training are sufficient, at most. The FANUC collaborative robots of the CR-4 iA series also make it possible to work alongside humans in complete safety. Similar to LR Mate, their connectivity to FANUC CNC machines is flawless. “Nonetheless, if our customers request a robot of another brand, FANUC Pictures can connect it to the FANUC CNC machine without a problem,” explains Christophe Rérat. Each Recomatic Group machine is an industrial project in itself, specifically adapted to the customer’s requirements.

This study is conducted in close connection with FANUC’s application engineer in charge of monitoring the manufacturer. For example, on the Bula POLIGO machines, each numerical control is defined according to the number of spindles. Thus, the budget for the machine is determined according to the requested complexity. “The motor settings are also refined for each machine, thanks to FANUC's application engineer” points out Stéphane Gisiger. Loading systems are also defined according to the required autonomy and degree of flexibility. Recomatic designed loaders can integrate robotics, machine vision, bin picking and palletisers as needed. “We guarantee the mechanical foundation of our machines, their robustness and precision,” says Christophe Rérat.

Together with FANUC, we ensure flexibility, profitability and adaptability to businesses and markets around the world,” he concludes. With a two-fold service such as that provided by the Recomatic and FANUC Groups, this partnership is always a winning solution for the final investor.

FANUC solutions for robot controls

Used on certain Recomatic machines, the FANUC LR Mate 200iD/4SH mini flexible robot offers a 550mm range and a high speed robotic wrist. This ultra-compact 5-axis short-arm version is ideal for confined workspaces and compact machines. Extremely easy to integrate, this model comes with a large number of options, including intelligent functionality such as vision and force control, special application packages and full IP69K protection. The FANUC 31i B5 control is used on certain BULA and RECO machines, has a large number of axes and also allows robot management. It allows the control of 26 axes including 6 spindle axes, via 4 channels. As a maximum, 5 axes can be controlled simultaneously. FANUC also offers the versatile Power Motion i-A numerical control to effectively control movements thanks to its fast response time. Supporting up to 32 axes and 4 channels, this solution is ideal for a wide variety of industrial applications. An alternative to the PLC, it offers increased versatility, a lower investment and has all the additional features of a numerical control machine. Easy to use, the Power Motion i-A can be programmed by anyone familiar with CNCs.

Who is RECOMATIC?

The application technician demonstrates the usefulness and ease of access to the graphical business applications developed by Recomatic Group engineers on the CNC series 31i B5 of a BULA POLIGO B11 polishing machine.

A short brief: The Recomatic Group initially found its roots in the Swiss Jura mountains and surface finishings. In 1962, cousins Charles and Martin Rérat went on to establish Recomatic in Fahy, and finally settled in Courtedoux four years later. The original company continues to support the regional watchmaking and luxury markets, and always seeks the perfect finishes. In2002, Christophe and Philippe Rérat took over the company’s management and lead the company to its current growth.

The acquisition of Bula Technologie in 2008, a specialist in automatic polishing machines, incorporated the Recomatic Group and its new corporate name was made official in 2015. After seven expansions, the plant is expected to reach 9,000 m2 by the end of 2020 and employ around 100 people. Today the Recomatic Group is the benchmark for surface finishing machine manufacturing in Switzerland, and has set out to conquer the European and global markets, thanks to its automated solutions for Industry 4.0. FANUC Switzerland is the group’s partner for its state of the art numerical control machines, spindle motors and robomachines, and loyal supporter of this growth.