Independent manufacturing cell
– the factory within the factory

SW develops the perfect automation solution for you. Our specialists consider the workpieces, the machine tool, and the processes for optimal automation of your production and turn a CNC machining center into a self-sufficient and flexible manufacturing cell. As a system, it highly efficiently encapsulates the complete machining of workpieces and, in conjunction with multi-spindle machining centers, enables rapid scaling of quantities. By using multiple autonomous and flexible cells, production lines can cover multi-variant manufacturing or efficiently produce families of parts with different sizes.

placement by AGV

Depending on the size of the workpieces, self-sufficient and flexible production cells are equipped with a loading module or a pallet store that is filled with blanks at the beginning of the shift. This can be done manually or automatically, with SW’s Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) the MobileRob. The MobileRob independently creates a map of the environment and navigates the factory floor without markers. Equipped with a variable-height table, it automatically loads the loading module or pallet storage with workpieces and fixtures.


For the BA W02 and BA 3 series, SW has developed integrated automation solutions that turn the CNC machining centers into independent production cells that are ready for connection. The loading module consists of a top-mounted 6-axis robot and the workpiece storage unit, in which the unmachined parts are stored on trays. The trays are adjusted in height by their own ball screw drive. Operators can ergonomically load the workpiece magazine at a constant height. In addition, automatic loading and unloading via the AGV MobileRob is possible. It provides automatic material flow to and from the self-sufficient manufacturing cell. MobileRob and the autonomous manufacturing cell communicate directly with each other for this purpose.

The loading module with 6-axis robot and vertical workpiece storage is fully integrated mechanically and electrically into the machine. The system is then transported as a crane hook machine and set up at the user’s site. As a Plug & Play solution, integrated automation also reduces the complexity of commissioning, because automation and machine already communicate with each other and are coordinated.

With integrated automation, the 6-axis robot pulls a tray out of the loading module, optionally scans an RFID chip with information about the workpieces, and places the workpieces in the swivel carrier. This enables loading and unloading to be carried out in parallel with machining time. After machining, the robot unloads the workpieces and places them back on the tray. Depending on the size of the workpiece and the cycle time of the machining, the capacity of the loading module is sufficient for a complete eight-hour shift and more. Manual intervention by operators is not necessary. The autonomous manufacturing cell can fully automatically produce, for example, impellers for turbochargers in full quantities, even during unmanned shifts. In combination with the MobileRob and a fully automated material flow, even longer periods without operator intervention are feasible. This significantly reduces personnel costs.

For larger workpieces machined in the BA 4, BA 6 and W08 series, SW offers customized automation solutions to implement self-sufficient cells. Here, the automation specialists combine a 6-axis robot arranged on an elevated platform with a pallet storage system, the storage tower. The pallets loaded with blanks are inserted manually or automatically from behind. The pallets within the storage tower are also freely positionable in height and can cover unmanned shifts.

The Plug & Play solutions for stand-alone manufacturing cells significantly reduce complexity for users and accelerate the start of production. At SW, the production machine and automation are mechanically and electrically interconnected. The automation system consists of highly available standard components, resulting in a much faster commissioning of the self-sufficient and flexible production cell at the customer’s site. In addition, the customer has only one contact person, because SW bears overall responsibility for the machine and automation. This also simplifies the changeover to new processes or error diagnosis and troubleshooting in the event of service.

Additional options open up numerous possibilities for customized automation. For example, the trays and pallets can be uniquely identified via RFID tags and the raw parts can be selected according to the NC programs. Camera monitoring of the workspace enables control of the process from any location. The connection of the MobileRob ensures the automatic material flow to and from the autonomous manufacturing cell. MobileRob and the autonomous manufacturing cell communicate directly with each other for this purpose. In addition, peripheral stations such as a compact robot cell for brushing/deburring the workpieces can be integrated into the process.

About the operation of the self-sufficient manufacturing cell:

|Unloading requirement: Pallets with finished parts are provided in sequence for unloading
|Loading requirement: Free spaces for receiving pallets of unfinished parts are provided
|No possibility of manipulation by the operator

SW offers these options for automation:

|Pallets with identification
|Blank selection according to NC program
|Camera surveillance
|Workpiece cleaning
|Connection of the AGV MobileRob for automatic loading and unloading of the storage tower