problems with existing flexible tooling technology
Impossible to Verify Automatically
Parts can only be cut as accurately as they are held.
Existing flexible tooling systems do not have end effectors that can be positioned or locked, so any verification must be done manually. (read: labor intensive, time consuming and error prone)
Complex & Unreliable
Large tooling systems consist of thousands of electronic and mechanical components, all connected by miles of wiring and tubing.
Failure of a single component can compromise the entire system. Waterjet environments are particularly hostile, often causing significant maintenance problems after just a few years.
Traditional Actuators are manually mounted in fixed positions or modified with complex and costly adapters.
Large systems, often incorporating hundreds of these actuators, are costly and time-intensive to assemble – not to mention highly-susceptible to human error.
Inefficient & Costly
Due to their size and complexity, the cost of a flexible tooling system often exceeds the machine tool it’s underneath.
Permanent installation requires significant facility modification and ongoing maintenance costs.
All this, for a tool that may only operate a few minutes each day.