In times of Industry 4.0 utter importance is placed on the automation of production. Machine tools are to be loaded and unloaded automatically without the necessity of manual human intervention and remote controlled via various networks. The objective of this paper is the construction of an area gantry as part of a 3-axis handling robot for the purpose of loading a portal milling machine. Various available alternative options and a custom-developed version are considered in their price points. An area gantry is constructed analogously to the setup of an existing CNC router. Furthermore, an integrated mainboard, featuring a USB-interface enabling communication with a host-PC, for controlling the gantry is designed. A simple communication protocol for transmitting data and control information via USB/UART and a sample implementation of that very protocol as part of a microcontroller firmware is presented. Within the scope of the description of the motor control unit, various state-of-the-art methods for control of stepper motors are shown. A simple approximation for the efficient calculation and microcontroller-implementation of a given movement profile, comprising phases of constant acceleration and deceleration, is derived.