From CNC Programming Techniques: An Insider’s Guide to Effective Methods and Applications

Pallet changers have been a part of CNC field for several decades. By grouping definition, pallet changers belong into the area of setup and work holding. Their purpose is quite simple to minimize the idle time (non-profit time) between machining one part and machining the next part, particularly when the setup is complex or takes a long time. Idle time is always undesired side effect of any manufacturing. Machine tool builders have always made great efforts to minimize, and even eliminate, all or some idle time. One solution that has proven to be very effective in manufacturing is the concept of using special pallets as part of the machine setup. Pallets (or pallet tables) are special work tables that can be moved in and out of the working area. The only requirement is that the machine control system supports this feature, which means it has to be supported on both the machine side (hardware) and the control side (software).

The process of pallet changing is called Automatic Pallet Changer, abbreviated as APC

Types of Automatic Pallets

For horizontal and even vertical machining centers, manufacturers have developed a number of different pallet designs. Their design, purpose a general functions always share the same characteristics:

  • Design: Two or more pallets, depending on the machine model

  • Function: One pallet in the work area (active), the other pallet(-s) outside of the work area (inactive)

  • Utilization: To machine part A on one pallet while part B is being set at...

Products & Services
Pallets are platforms used for storage and transportation of goods.
Pallet Dispensers

Pallet dispensers are pallet storage receptacles that also distribute pallets to optimize palleting activites, floor space, and pallet life, as well as reduce manual collection efforts and improve safety.

Slip Sheets
Slip Sheets are unit load support devices used for the handling and transportation of packaged goods. These products are used instead of a pallet for less material costs, lower shipping costs, and less environmental impact.
Load Transfer Stations
Load transfer stations are material handling machines that transfer palletized loads to other pallets, slipsheets, or floor loads.
CNC Tool Changers
CNC tool changers allow a machine to perform more than one function without requiring an operator to change the tooling.

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