Sometimes it’s better to break down complex words to understand their meaning. Let’s do that with the word: Machine-Tending. The first part of the term is Machine. We probably all know what the definition of a machine is. As for the second part of the term, tending refers to the act of carefully providing for someone or something. So, those two words together and in the context of industrial automation, refer to the loading or unloading of parts or material on a machine.

Robotic Machine-tending:

Machine-tending is one of the most basic automation required by any job, shop, or manufacturing unit. Traditionally, operators feed in or remove the parts or material from machines. Though most of the industries are currently using humans as their machine-tending tools, that is changing. Thus, machine-tending robots will replace these operators and make them available to do more complex work.

robot machine tending

On top of basic loading/unloading of parts or raw materials, machine-tending robots are also capable of doing more complex work: picking up parts from a supply area and placing them on a designated machine, but also performing secondary applications, such as assembly, cutting, and inspection.


With a wide array of parts that can be handled, ranging from a tiny pin to a large refrigeration system, there are various applications where machine-tending can be used:

Machine Tending Application
  • Loading products in a CNC, milling machine
  • Holding parts for welding operations
  • Grinding, stamping, and punching


Due to their wide range of applications and working capacities, machine-tending robots offer many benefits.

  • Can reduce strain and accidental injuries to operators due to repetitive, dangerous work
  • Increases production, quality, production rate, and consistency
  • Fast change over between products
  • Lower operation costs with a quick ROI
  • Customizable with various robot grippers, enabling it to work in continuously changing product ranges
  • Capability to work secondary operations
  • Increases system and manufacturing line uptime
  • Round the clock manufacturing capability as no fatigue can affect the production
  • Requires minimal maintenance and assistance

Choose Right, Choose Best:

To select the best machine-tending robot for a specific industry, certain things need to be taken into account. The selection process takes various factors into consideration :

  • Type of industry and machine on which the robot will be working
  • Investment budget
  • Shape, size, and weight of the parts to be handled
  • End effector grip tools requirement
  • Required speed for the task
  • Maximum payload of the robot
  • Vise, if needed
  • Multi-machine work capacity
  • ROI of the machine-tending robot
  • Robot limitations and work envelope

There are various companies on the market providing customizable machine-tending robots and robotic cells. Moreover, machine-tending robots help SMEs utilize their machines to their maximum capacity. It is very important to select the best suitable machine-tending robot to maximize profits. This helps SMEs gain an advantage over large-scale companies. So, by correctly choosing the machine-tending robot, companies can compete in this evolving market. It automates the industry with minimal investment and helps them maximizes their throughput.

If you have a hard time choosing the best machine-tending robot for your project, feel free to contact us.