Lights Out Automation's number one rule is it must start with a reliable machine tool. The FANUC RoboDrill is an extremely quick machine with reliability its middle name. The Average Mean Down Time is 1.5 Days Every 10 years. A 3-5 axis vertical machining center with a very small footprint with a choice of standard 10,000 RPM spindle or optional 24,000 RPMs to fit your application and an automatic tool changer up to 0.7 second tool change time.
Lights out manufacturing is a manufacturing methodology. Manufacturing facilities employing this concept require no human input during operation, that includes loading and unloading finished parts. With the advancement of technology combined with the ever rising labor costs, automation is becoming a more common site in today's manufacturing shops.
Is your part small of softer materials and short cycle times or larger of harder materials and a much longer cycle time? Another factor that used to be associated with automation is lot sizes, today's automated cells can be flexible enough to be considered in small runs.
FANUC offers several "canned" automation cells or a combination to fit your needs. Watch the video showing different ideas.