Robotic Grinding Island

In response to the queries  received from several customers  that were looking for fully  automatic solutions to cut and  redress their carbide rings, the  engineers at our R&D Department  have envisaged and developed the  “Robotic Island” concept.


The whole idea is simply the logical evolution of the well-known Atomat machine, AT711E CNC  model, designed and built to perform the automatic change of the diamond grinding wheels.

An important role was also played by the state of the art achieved in the arena of industrial robotics  whose versatility and current widespread distribution have made its application complementary,  economical and indispensable, also in the field of the CNC machine tools.

A Few Numbers:

  • 18 Grinding wheels – Automatically managed by the  robotic island and automatically  substituted if worn.
  • 24 Rod Block Rings – Up to 24 rod block rings  automatically handled and  mounted on the machines  headstock.
  • 16hrs Unattended – Unattended hours of continuous  grinding operation.
  • 3 In-Process Controls – Automatic in-process controls for  the grinding wheel wear; correct  robot clamping and handling  monitoring of the rolls and wheels  & roll main geometry in-process  checking


The system consists of the main grinding CNC machine, the Atomat AT711E CNC and a rear enclosed area, safely  interlocked, including an anthropomorphic robot and the rolls and grinding wheel support pallets. The Robotic  Island works 100% autonomously from the operator, even (and specially) during night shifts, allowing, for instance,  to complete the grinding sequence of an entire set of tungsten carbide rings of the whole high-speed wire-rod  finishing block

Roll and Grinding Wheels Storage

Easy managed support pallets  that can be either manually  operated or automatically  handled by customer’s  integrated storage system.

Used for both roll and grinding  wheels storage, with fixed  positioning areas inside the  robotic island.

Roll and Grinding Wheel Handling

The AT711E is equipped with the correct roll inner  bore Ø whereas the anthropomorphic robot has an  universal gripper, capable to handle both rolls and  grinding wheels at the same time.

Process Workflow

A brief presentation of the main steps to prepare, operate and finally retrieve the finished rolls from the robotic island.

1. Roll & G.Wheel  Preparation – Outside the robotic island the operator prepares the set of rolls and grinding wheels.

2. Roll & G.Wheel Positioning – The wheels and the rolls are moved inside the island and placed in predefined areas by means of the supplied movable pallets.

3. Robot Gripper and Headstock Collet Selection – According to the bores diameter of the rolls to be machined, the suitable CNC grinding machine headstock collet will be mounted, whereas the robot has an universal gripper, capable of clamping both rolls and grinding wheels.

4. Programming – The operator defines the sequence of the grinding process according to the set of rolls placed inside the robotic island.

5. Automatic Process Execution – The island takes care of the whole process. The robots mounts on the CNC machine each programmed roll and relevant wheel. In-process groove main geometries checking and grinding wheel power absorption take charge of the grinding monitoring.

6. Finished Workpieces Unload & Check – Once the job is completed the operator can either remove the finished rolls or recall them for an automatic grooves’ geometry checking.