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52 PCB007 MAGAZINE I OCTOBER 2018 Originally, there was a set of eight that came here about three years ago with the first phase. Goldman: Have they been replaced, or have they been upgraded? Howard: GreenSource ordered the second set of eight, so there are 16 now. The original set of eight had individual loading systems that were on the back of each machine of the original line. With this phase, the automation will be taken off the older machines and then they will ultimately be fed by automated, guided vehi- cles (AGVs). Goldman: Are those Schmoll AGVs? Howard: Yes, they're being supplied by Schmoll; they are not yet in-house. Goldman: Is there any difference between the old and new machines other than the automa- tion? Howard: Not really. There have been some mi- nor modifications that would have happened because of evolvement, but primarily they're identical systems. Although they are primarily drilling machines, somewhere amongst these 16 are a couple of routing machines. Goldman: Are they used only for routing? Howard: I believe so. They all have vision systems associated with them, so they can do vision align- ment. These are very sophisticated single-station machines and, from what I hear from GreenSource, they've worked very well. Goldman: How will the new loading units work? Howard: Loading will still happen from the back, but it's a different style of loader that will blend bet- ter now with the intention of be- ing fully automated. All of these machines have a large capacity tool-change system. It's a little difficult to see, but there's a chain that runs all the way around the ma- chine and it holds 2,200 tools. With an auto- mated system it's very important that you have a lot of tools so that you're not constantly try- ing to attend the machine just to put addition- al tools in. Goldman: Okay, tell me about that very sophis- ticated panel I am looking at. Howard: That's the operator control system which offers individual control for each of the 16 units. On the screen here are all functions for this machine including speed (hits per minute), tool management, what options are turned on or off, as well as job information. These units have most of the options and fea- tures that Schmoll offers (Figure 2). Goldman: What's next, then? The laser? Howard: Yes. This is a two-station pico laser, meaning that it's lasering the material at pico- seconds rather than the more traditional nano- second style laser. One of the characteristics of a pico laser is that it can handle all the differ- ent materials. Goldman: That's an order of magnitude faster, right? Figure 2: Dave Howard of Burkle North America and I-Connect007's Patty Goldman check out the control system of a Schmoll Modul drill.

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