An Interview With Engineering | Robotics
Erik Lawson is the Engineering & Operations Manager for DCM Tech. The DCM Engineering team is always busy working to advance our technology, improve our equipment, creatively help solve our customers’ pain points, and designing custom items like fixtures.
Q: How long have you been with DCM?
Erik: “I have been officially an employee for 3-1/2 years. Before that, as a second generation DCM Engineer, I was the kid hanging around out in the shop on nights and weekends helping my dad.”
Q: Tell us about a project you are excited about.
E: “We are currently working on developing a process for using a Mitsubishi RV-4FL-Q robotic arm with a DCM grinder. It will be used for machine tending, and combined with our servo-driven rotary table, this will get us closer to a fully automated grinding process.”
Q: Why Mitsubishi?
E: “We chose them because we already partner with Mitsubishi for our primary machine controls, so we already had a great working relationship with their company.”
Q: How did this project get started?
E: “As many of our new developments, this particular project was driven by both a request from a current customer and our desire to keep advancing our available technology. “
Q: Why consider implementing robotics?
E: “There are many scenarios in which a company can benefit from robotics. A few off the top of my head are: high volume manufacturing processes; to remove an operator from a repetitive task so they can move to the more complex jobs; or handling sharp, dangerous, or delicate parts.”
Q: What has been the most surprising about this project?
E: “Understanding the complexity of what is said to be a ‘simple or repetitive’ task. For example, loading parts in and out of a grinder seems simple, but you have to account for every joint motion, other tasks like cleaning off the table between grinds, as well as opening and shutting the door. All of these require different understanding and programming.”
Q: In your words, why choose DCM?
E: “DCM provides you a complete solution. We are not just going to sell you a machine, train you on the basic controls, then send you on your way. Our team will help you get started understanding and developing you full grinding process. This gives our customers a great machine and also a solid start on a truly optimized process.”