1st Machine Tool Accessories has introduced a range of workpiece handling cells that allow components to be clamped manually onto pallets, automatically loaded into store and subsequently retrieved for robotic transfer into and out of 3-, 4- and 5-axis machining centres. The equipment is ideal for long periods of unattended and lights-out running and hence for extracting maximum benefit from investment in machine tools.

The cells are manufactured by French company Engineering Data, located in Fondettes, near Tours, which has appointed 1st MTA as sole sales and service agent for the UK and Ireland. The modular pallet handling systems are said to increase production output from non-pallet-change machining centres by up to 50 per cent.
A representative model, EasyBox T30, was demonstrated on the 1st MTA stand at MACH 2018. It is a compact system with a footprint of just two square metres that can be configured to feed a machine from the left, right or front. Two versions are available for storing 42 or 64 pallets.

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