Perfect automation no matter what!

Lower personnel costs, reduced downtime and lead times, improved process reliability, productivity and quality, as well as greater dynamism and flexibility: While this may sound like squaring the circle, it is actually much easier than that – with the CHIRON Group's automation solutions. For example, the latest combination of the VariocellUno automation unit and the CHIRON DZ 16 W can be used to manufacture high unit quantities. In addition, the VariocellPallet pallet automation can be used with the FZ 16 S five axis machining center to manufacture individual parts over longer machining times.

In 2018, 48% of all of the project machines CHIRON supplied came with automation, while this figure reached 55% in 2019 and will be 75% by the end of 2020. There is a clear trend towards automation, which is continuing to gain momentum during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is because it will only be possible to maintain productivity, while also reducing working hours and staggering work with few operators, by using largely autonomous machines.

For autonomous production, the CHIRON Group provides solutions for a wide range of requirements with perfectly matched complete packages comprising a machining center and automation. The most recent example is the combination of the CHIRON DZ 16 W with the compact VariocellUno automation unit. This means that there is now also a tailored solution for the 16 Series with various options – all from a single source.

»Why add the VariocellUno as a further automation solution for the 16 Series? It's quite simple. As is already the case with other series, we wanted to offer our customers an appropriate standard solution for series production which can be perfectly tailored to the production scenario thanks to the different options.«
Kristoffer Siegmann
Head of Global Account Management Automotive at CHIRON Group

Autonomous unit: DZ 16 W and VariocellUno
VariocellUno has already been used in CHIRON 08, 12 and 15 Series machining centers over 350 times around the world. When used in conjunction with the machine, it brings clear productivity gains. The experts from the automation department, headed by Thomas Marquadt, have now further developed the compact unit, which comprises a handling robot and workpiece store, for the 16 Series.

Visitors to the OPEN HOUSE ONLINE could already observe the new variant on the DZ 16 W. Particularly for plants with a workpiece changer, the VariocellUno provides clear added value with respect to loading and unloading blanks and finished parts during machine operation. In addition, the robot can perform additional tasks during the machine runtime, such as cleaning, labeling, deburring and reading codes. Designed for series production, the VariocellUno automation unit allows users to manufacture a large number of workpieces in very short cycle times. Whether for autonomous production at weekends, for night shifts, with reduced personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic or due to a lack of specialist staff, the automation unit enables high flexibility while consistently producing the best manufacturing quality. Indeed, this not only applies to the 16 Series but also to other CHIRON series and the STAMA MC 531 machining centers.

 The combination of the CHIRON DZ 16 W with the compact VariocellUno automation unit enables maximum productivity thanks to its capacity to manufacture large numbers of workpiece in very short cycle times.
The combination of the CHIRON DZ 16 W with the compact VariocellUno automation unit enables maximum productivity thanks to its capacity to manufacture large numbers of workpiece in very short cycle times.

The workpieces are handled by a six-axis robot on the DZ 16 W. The draw storage, palletizer or workpiece conveyor belt act as a storage medium, depending on the requirements. In addition, components can be added to VariocellUno according to the application. These components include multiple grippers and also stations for turning, measuring, washing and labeling. A large rotating door makes the machine's working area very easy to access. The automation cell can be moved for set-up and maintenance tasks which require direct access from the front.

If a DZ 16 W is already in use, the new VariocellUno can be added without any difficulty. It is also possible to implement the VariocellUno on 15 and 18 Series machining centers – whatever approach is taken, customers are ably supported by the CHIRON Group's automation experts.

VariocellUno: Many advantages in one compact unit

  • High degree of utilization for increased profitability
  • Attractive value for money
  • Replacement of blanks and finished-part pallets during machine operation
  • Machining center and automation from a single source
  • Storage medium depending on the requirements
  • Easy to operate and program
  • Best access to the working area for cleaning and maintenance tasks


Greater flexibility and dynamism: FZ/DZ 16 with VariocellPallet
The CHIRON Group already showcased the first pallet automation in its range at OPEN HOUSE 2019. This innovative solution gives the 16 Series single-spindle machines greater dynamism and flexibility when machining small batch sizes and complex workpieces, as well as when manufacturing individual parts with long machining times.

Various blanks are clamped on a rotary indexing table with up to ten prefabricated pallets. The handling system supplies the machining center with blank after blank and removes the workpieces together with the pallet following the successful machining process. This significantly increases productivity. Another advantage is that while one pallet is being machined, a second can be loaded at the same time.

 With its combination of the CHIRON FZ 16 S five axis and the VariocellPallet automation solution, small batch sizes and complex workpieces can be machined autonomously and with high flexibility.
With its combination of the CHIRON FZ 16 S five axis and the VariocellPallet automation solution, small batch sizes and complex workpieces can be machined autonomously and with high flexibility.

The motorized transfer trolley with rollers is a major advantage with respect to having easy access to the VariocellPallet, even in confined spaces. The trolley can be moved in three directions without rail systems and, if required, can also be manually loaded and unloaded.

As unique as your manufacturing tasks: VariocellSystem
As an alternative to VariocellUno and VariocellPallet, the 16 Series machines – as is the case with all CHIRON and STAMA series – can be fully automated and customized with the relevant modules. The VariocellSystem is the perfect fit for all specific requirements – whether for handling systems, gantry or articulated arm loaders, workpiece stores for blanks and finished parts, pallet stores, feeding or discharging equipment or peripheral units for cleaning, identification, testing or measuring.

»We know our machining center interfaces better than anyone and can get the most out of our customized automation systems' dynamic advantages for our customers. We make every robot automation system ourselves – and we're very proud of this. «
Thomas Marquardt
Head of Automation at CHIRON Group