maledetti piccoli scarti

I often talk with my client who thinks traditionally.

Often the usual reasoning is:

  • I’ve to produce a piece, I need a machine for that piece
  • I’ve to produce an other piece, I need another machine

THAT WOULD BE RIGHT!… If we were living in the year 1980!!!

TODAY this is completely WRONG!!

Maybe you did the same mistake, but it’s not your fault…..

The problem is that until today you trusted  an astute supplier who does not know what to sell or tries to sell you more machines.

I will try to explain myself better

If you have a supplier who is not specialized in deburring and cutting machines, when you ask him for an offer he will propose the machine just for the piece you need to produce.

He has not the experience to offer you a machine you can easily retool for an other piece.


He prefers to sell you a machine which can just produce a piece, so you are forced to purchase more machines: every time you have to produce a piece you tell him to build a new machine.

But there is a problem!

Nowadays the market is changing and it is fundamental to invest in flexible solutions, as flexible as possible!

If you have a mono-product machine, and the client freezes you the order (now this happens more and more often), your investment will not be covered anymore.

You throw away your money and your company cannot move forward.


The mono-product machine = WRONG

Nowadays it is fundamental to have a flexible cutting and deburring machine.

To do this we must make the right decisions.

There are many rules for the right investment, let me try to list them:

  • NO super low cycle time
  • NO complex machines
  • NO special units
  • NO huge machines
  • Vision system for each piece load
  • Far reaching machine design
  • Flexible work unit
  • The correct sized robot

NO super low cycle time

It seems nonsense but it’s true.

It is true that the lower the cycle time, the more the machine produces, the greater your profit will be.

But there is a problem!

If you want an incredibly low cycle time, the machine has to be really special and has to concentrate in producing just one product.

It is true  you earn a lot producing that piece…. but if you HAVE to change the product type, what do you do?

Many times it happened to me to watch super fast machines producing one piece, and then the client lost the order and had to produce an other piece. A similar piece, but it could not be processed on that machine.

So the client had to shut down the machine and  employ many workers to process the pieces by hand.

NO complex machines

When I see machines with 3 robots handing over a piece every 10 seconds I get really angry.


The robots spend more time in taking and leaving pieces instead of working!

What is the economical sense?

The problems of these solutions are many:

  • The balanced cycle time (every robot has to do the same cycle time, if one is delayed, the delay will be multiplied with the robots)
  • Programming difficulty (what do you deburr with one robot, what do you deburr with the other one?)
  • A large space occupied on the floor
  • Difficulty in putting the machine in safety
  • Big retooling difficulty
  • Big productivity, when everything is ok and is working

Complex machines are always wrong, but if they are mono-product machines they become some how  (even if I don’t approve of it) more or less manageable.

But when you have to change product…. the best thing is to throw everything away. You  have had to throw thousands of euros away.

NO special units

Instead of cutting with the robot, let’s build a trimming mould, making a hole and marking too!


Maybe for this mould you might spend 50.000€,  instead of buying one of my cutting and deburring machines.

Everything is great, cheap, nice and compact!

But there is a problem!

Are you sure that it works?

Let us say that it works; then you notice that you cannot mark the piece and you have to modify the mould. Or the client asks you to modify the piece.

Do not tell me these things, they happen every day.

So your multi-functional mould investment is ready to be scrapped. Then you start doing operations by hand. You have just doubled the costs you thought you had saved.

NO huge machines

The space you have used in your plant has always to be taken into consideration. Maybe your company is big, and the space does not cost anything. So you ask  your supplier to build huge machines, because the compactness is not needed.

But there is a problem!

If the machine is big, your operators need a lot of time to walk around. They loose time to enter into the machine, they loose time to clean it, they loose time in the reprogramming.

The machines need the right space for their use. They must be  neither too big nor too small.

Vision system for each piece load

If you want a flexible machine, you cannot think of having many changes to load the pieces. You have to hand over the pieces to the robot and it must take them automatically.

  • realization costs
  • realization time
  • storaging place
  • machine retooling times
  • maintenance costs

My vision system can cut down costs and time. If you have to retool a machine you have just to make the vision setup and you are ready for the processing. It takes just 5 minutes for the setup as opposed to 1 week.

How much do you save?


Far reaching machine design

This is the most difficult part. For a flexible, easy to use machine you need to have this experience. In other words: YOU NEED ALREADY TO HAVE MADE A  MISTAKE!

You have to know your client’s needs and those of others.  You have to think of the machine in the future.  What does your client need tomorrow?

To know it, you have to do research and experience in solutions. You must always consider the market tendency and the required solutions.

The project has also to take into account the maintenance undertaken  on the machine. You must always consider that all the components have to be easily replaceable.

Furthermore, the machine has to ensure a stable process over time.

The project is really the key to the whole machine.


Flexible working units

The work units have to be easily configurable.

If the machine is thought to produce a piece it is configured in a certain way, but what happens if you have to produce another piece tomorrow?

The machine has to enable you to do it easily, quickly and at a low cost.

How can you do this?

The work units have to be well designed.. They have to be designed to satisfy these demands. Each kind of unit has its peculiarity, its limits. It is necessary to work within these parameters in order to find the right compromise between flexibility and reliability.


The correct sized robot

It seems obvious but it’s obviously not.

If you buy the wrong robot, the machine will not work.

The robot has to be able to do what you need.  It has not to be too fast nor too slow. Strong, but not slow. It has to be large, but not too voluminous.

Remember that the robot it not only a machine but  software too.

The same software with the wrong parameters does not work….. or better it works badly!

For many years together with my engineers I have thought about these arguments…. and in the end I designed a series of universal machines.

These machines are built to be easily reconfigured in the future.

These machines are built according to all the standards I have previously described.

Piercarlo Bonomi
The Main Expert in Robotic Cutting and Deburring Machines


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