The secret to halve the cycle time

The secret to halve the cycle time

What happens if you take twice as long as necessary?
How is your marginality?

Just yesterday I showed that with a professional deburring machine the cycle time can be halved.

Yes, you got it right, THE CYCLE TIME CAN HALVE !!

But to do it, it is not really that simple.

You will immediately think that to reduce the cycle time, just double the number of machines.


So I try to explain myself better: we work on equal terms.

I, like my improvised competitor, provided just one machine, and both had inside only one robot.



Now I confess you how you can find a successful solution.

First of all, we analyse the difference between the 2 machines:

  • Experience
  • Robot
  • Work unit
  • Type of tools
  • cycle planning
  • Grippers


to make a good cycle time, perhaps the main secret is having it already done.
There are no rules or books to study in deburring. There is only the experience of the machine builder.
If you build a machine tool you have studied books, you attended specialized schools that thought you the theory, norms about constructive tolerances, a centennial example of history.
Instead the deburring machines have always been built as they came. Everyone on his own way. Without rules, without why; and for this with very divergent results.
Frankly speaking, everything in a deburring machine is important.
There is nothing that can be let out.
From the choice of the robot, to the tools, to the machine base, to the layout itself (unit position with respect to the robot).
Every detail is a percentage of the cycle time.
Many times changing a detail you can earn 20% of the cycle time.
The only way to know which the right choice for every detail is experience.


There is no robot that “works well” or the robot that “does not fit”.
There is a right robot for the cycle we want to do.
Every robot manufacturer and every robot have their own peculiarities.
The robots are categorized according to these parameters:

  • Capacity
  • Range of working
  • Stiffness
  • Speed
  • Accuracy

If the first two parameters are in the catalogue, the others are more complex to find. For example, Abb declares the accuracy of their robots. Movement tolerances are shown in the product manual of each robot.


Or rather, it is not wrong. The manual shows the accuracy of the robot at maximum working speed with maximum load. I have personally carried out tests to define the precision of the robot: The result is that the robot is 10 times more precise than the declared one. Of course, I used it not at the limit, but in the right way.

then let’s talk about speed.
Each manufacturer reports the maximum speed of their robot.
some producers say they build real missiles! What is the reality? Speed is not important without control.
The robot must be fast and maintain the trajectory at the same time.

We do not talk about rigidity.
I’ve never found a product manual with any data.
It seems that this data interests only me. Rigidity is the parameter that makes the difference. In practice it tells you how much you can be aggressive in processing. The engine power is like a machine.

To make the choice more complicated, naturally the stiffness is an antagonist of speed. So you have to choose the rigid robot, but not too much.
So choosing is really complicated. And if you ask the robot seller, he tells you that his is always the best.

Working unit

Units make the difference. On the market you find some units that should work.
But the reality is that there are too many different deburring applications that require characteristics.
In addition, many commercial units have been developed by some who has never tried and has gone wrong.

As with robots, units must have the right characteristics. Depending on the tools you use, they must have a compensation system. Sometimes you need a lot of power and rigidity, other little power but an effective compensation system. Then if you talk about belting, you have to pay attention to where you put the traction and how you do the belt tensioning system.

Every detail is fundamental, and every type of tool needs its specific solution.

Type of tools

If you use a hammer to deburr by hand (I did not invent it now, I saw it), you can use other tools with the automatic deburring system. If it is milled or curled, the cycle time will be much lower, and the quality of the finished product will be better.

In the case of the half-cycle time I talked about before, I changed the type of belts (grain, type of support, stiffness of the support) and for the cutters I made some cutters on my design. In practice we have gained a lot in processing speed while maintaining quality with more aggressive tools.

Cycle planning

This is the fundamental part of the constructor’s work. Do not just make a layout with 4 rectangles that indicate the units to make the machine work well. We need to analyse the operations to be done and find the tool (and the right unit) to do it. So, if the operator uses an angle grinder by hand, the robot can belt or mill or file. It is the builder who has to know it. If the manual process is repeated, so many times a lot of times it is thrown away.


the gripper should not exist. I should leave the piece free everywhere. Instead, you have to block the piece somewhere. It is important to find areas that do not prevent work and make the cycle fast and lean. It takes years to learn how to design a good clamp.

To sum up, if you want to halve the cycle time you have to have a perfect machine from the point of view of design and set-up.

Do not waste any more time.
Contact me now to analyse how professional deburring machine can change your production cycle.