The new Fastems Modular Flexible Pallet System (FPS) enables lights-out manufacturing and high spindle utilization in high-mix production with 4- and 5-axis milling and mill-turn machines and compact vertical 5-axis machines. This modular CNC automation solution handles machining pallets and zero-point plates of 300-630mm and its unique 360-degree design ensures a fit for any shop floor – including tight spaces and low-ceiling facilities. FPS can integrate CNCs of over 90 brands and be extended or upgraded if there is a change in production needs.
What sets the new Fastems FPS apart from other pallet handling solutions are its modular 360-degree design, integration capability with over 90 machine brands, and state-of-art production planning capabilities. To meet the needs for even the tightest shop floor, FPS’ modular design allows machine tools, pallet storage units, and operator loading stations to be placed flexibly on all four sides of the system. With maximum height of only 3.1-3.8 meters (10.2 to 12.5 feet), FPS is a perfect fit for low-ceiling facilities also.
To meet the unique production needs of high-mix or low-volume manufacturers, the pallet storage modules are configurable and use the vertical space efficiently. From four to twelve pallets can be accommodated every 2 meters (79 inches) depending on the load heights – and the top shelf accommodates higher loads if needed. In addition, the system ends can be also used for storing pallets. All the shelving units have an in-built coolant collection system to keep the produced parts and surrounding areas clean.
The control system of FPS is Fastems’ Manufacturing Management Software (MMS) that is designed specifically for high-mix manufacturing needs. It is a tool for everyone working in production or managing it, giving a real-time view of production activities. Most importantly, it identifies exactly what needs to be done next to ensure timely deliveries and maximum spindle utilization. Not only does the system consider the pallets that need to be loaded in the machine tools next, but it also checks and ensures that all the other machining resources are there in time – NC programs, cutting tools, and raw materials. When a rush job is received or anything sudden happens, MMS automatically adjusts the production plan.
“More and more companies are investing in five-axis machining and mill-turn technologies, requiring automation systems to be able to handle more complex parts and reach the machine differently,” said Nathan Turner, President, Fastems LLC. “These same manufacturers, however, also need to be able to introduce new workpieces fast during high-mix production processes. The Flexible Pallet System is designed specifically for these types of operations, building upon our Flexible Pallet Tower technology but for multiple CNCs. Because it’s modular, the FPS can integrate with a wide variety of milling machines, making the automation investment more accessible especially for machines not equipped with automatic pallet changers (APCs). We’re delighted to be able to help manufacturers optimize their machining capabilities for maximum profit.”
The first systems will be delivered to the customers during the spring of 2024. More information about the modular solution can be found at fastems.com/fps.
Fastems delivers intelligent factory automation solutions around cutting machine tools and related processes. We are a family-owned business with over 40 years of experience and 5,000 installations. Our mission is to help metalworking manufacturers improve their productivity and profitability. Our application fields are pallet and robotic automation – always equipped with our industry-leading production planning and execution software. We also have solutions for automating the production and resource planning of stand-alone machine tools. We support our systems with a wide range of services.
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