As a general rule, the machines can also be fed manually, if there is no program available, for instance, or if the robot comes to a standstill – which almost never happens. But the objective is not to reduce the cycle time by a few tenths of a second. "Quality and precision" are the priorities. "For such valuable workpieces, minimising the cycle time is not a serious argument", says Schneider, assured of the wisdom of his decision.
“Using the robot”, he admits, “would not yield any advantage, solely due to the fact that it would only have to wait until it retrieved the next part from the machine.” For a series of 10,000 or 20,000 units, it would be a whole different story. As one can readily see from the plate of the ROBODRILL, the precision machining of watch components is not very easy. At any rate, there are many individual steps.
Schneider: "We have many components with five-axis machining. And that's why I really appreciate how smoothly everything runs on the FANUC CNC 31i-A5."